As we approach our country’s 234th birthday, it’s appropriate to reflect on the significance of Independence Day.
My educational frame of reference for American independence centers chiefly around a film we were shown in grade school. I have been trying to remember the name so I can dig up a copy. The film was black and white and grainy, but it painted a pretty vivid picture of the events leading up to the formation of the United States as an independent nation. So when this holiday rolls around, that film rolls in my head.
The Fourth of July is also my younger brother’s birthday. When he was little he used to sing, “A real live Matthew of my Uncle Sam, born on the Fourth of July,” while watching fireworks at the neighborhood celebration he thought was being thrown in his honor.
Living in the nation’s capital, the Fourth used to mean hearing the Beach Boys playing on the National Mall, and a long, crowded Metro ride home. Sometimes it’s a crab feast or a pool party or a visit to the National Archives. Fireworks? Don’t hate me, but I could take ’em or leave ’em.
Even though our nation might at times seem like it’s going somewhere in one big hand-basket, with oil spills and wars and political infighting over the freedoms we hold dear, my holiday wish is that for one day we Americans can cool off with a Good Humor Bomb Pop, sing Kumbaya and appreciate how good we have it.
As I trust the Founding Fathers would have intended, I’ll be at the Jersey shore.
Word Nymph doesn’t post on Sundays, but she wishes you a Happy Independence Day.