July 4th - An Illustrated Story

July 4th brings memories of many years past, parades and ballgames, fireworks and barbecues, family and friends. There have been some years when the day found me on the road reporting, even overseas. But no matter where I was or what I had to do, I couldn’t help but feel the swell of pride and appreciation for the country that I love. My relationship with America is one, I hope, of clarity and purpose. I understand the struggles and imperfections. I want to bear witness to what we must fix in addition to all that we celebrate. These feelings are rooted in my own personal journey and was the source of my book What Unites Us.

We at Steady have been pleased by the response from many of you to our sharing of short films, and we were looking for something in this vein for the July 4th weekend. That’s when my longtime collaborator Alex Van Amson had what I thought was an inspired idea. It’s not a video, but another medium, and one that I have taken to appreciating only recently. So below is an excerpt from What Unites Us, by way of its graphic novel edition. The power of the images is thanks to the genius of the illustrator Tim Foley. Also a big thank you to my co-author Elliot Kirschner, who also helps here on Steady.

July 4th is ultimately about community, and I am deeply grateful for all of you who make this late chapter of my life so rewarding.

From the opening essay “What Is Patriotism?”

If you wish to know more about What Unites Us: The Graphic Novel, you can find it here.

And please remember to support your local, independent booksellers whenever possible.

—Dan and Steady Team

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