Check out Howard Zinn's thoughts on what we should do this Independence Day. The essay is called "Put Away the Flags."
Zinn was required reading my high school U.S. History class and he is much revered by fans of Good Will Hunting. Read his book (used copies are remarkably affordable and every library will have it). See if his reputation is well-deserved.
There are people who think lots of different things about our country, about its past, its present, and its future. Because of our system of government, it is at least partially true that our policies are driven by our views of the past.
Howard Zinn's is the defining voice of the past for a large segment of our nation.