Happy 4th of July...wait a minute...is it the 4th? How would we know?
I mean there's no scheduled fireworks demonstrations, no place to gather with friends for a cocktail, no backyard BBQ's with family and friends from the neighborhood. None of the big stores are having their 4th of July sales, no restaurants are taking reservations because there are no lines of people waiting for a table.
When I was a kid, the 4th of July meant an opportunity to gather at home and with neighbors for a BBQ and entertainment after dark. Fireworks stands were set up 2 weeks in advance to sell boxes of fireworks. We would fork out the cash (they were not cheep) and take them home to blow up (literally) in our backyards. Many times our whole block would be ablaze as families set up beach chairs on their front lawns and took turns setting off bottle rockets, spinners, and sparkers. It was a grand display that lasted as long as the fireworks did. I remember sitting on the rooftop of our house watching Disneyland set off their grand display 30 miles away.
But sadly, things changed, fireworks were outlawed, and the neighborhoods quit gathering. Today, in the light of Covid and civil unrest we celebrate the holiday at home in a much different way. We might not even know it's a day of celebration anymore.
Why was the 4th of July made a holiday? July 4th, also known as Independence Day, has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but according to the website History.com the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution.
"On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence [from Great Britain],
and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted
the Declaration of Independence,
a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson."
Today is a day to celebrate our history, not destroy it. There is a saying that if we don't learn from history the mistakes we've made, we are bound to repeat them. We broke away from the tyranny of the past to become a free nation. Let us remember what it is to be an American as we celebrate the historical freedoms and honor them today.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The Declaration of Independence, signed in Congress, July 4, 1776.