Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Our Dependence on Independence Day

There are many who complain that our Independence Day (now, sadly, just called the Fourth of July) should be observed not on the actual July 4 but on the Monday closest to it in order to have that long weekend we so cherish here in America. That's like saying Christmas should be celebrated on the Monday closest to December 25.  Some things are sacrosanct.  The day our founding fathers signed our Declaration of Independence from England is one of those days.

It is also the day almost all of us leave our workplaces behind and get together for parades and barbecues and fireworks.  That it happens to fall on a Wednesday this year is a bummer for some, but that's the way it flies.  It's not close to either weekend and confusion reigns over which days to take off in order to travel to the Fourth of July destination.  For many more this year, it's a one-day holiday and then it's over.

In our remote area, Wednesday Fourths are deadly to the merchants.  People just aren't arriving in crowds large enough to keep them going through the summer and beyond into winter.  I feel sorry for them, of course, but I hope they don't notice that I'm not hanging around, either.  I'm taking off today to spend the day in the city where the parade will be larger and the fireworks will be flashier, and I have to admit I'm feeling a little guilty about not staying put in the place where my few dollars might actually make a difference.

But I'm going, anyway.

So here is my contribution today:

The actual Declaration of Independence, word for word.

Norman Lear's paean to this day, Born Again as an American.

Some actual good news from the State of Michigan. (Thrown in because actual good news for my state is so rare.)

The DAR makes amends and Marian Anderson can at last RIP.

Fourth of July recipes.

And how it looks from here:

Enjoy your day, stay safe, be happy, and be ready to report to work again tomorrow, when we take up the cause for saving this battered country.  Those freedoms they fought for so valiantly more than two centuries ago haven't exactly been won.

But we'll get there yet.



  1. Heard some places had their Fourth of July parade last Saturday. It wasn't even July, what's up with that????????????

  2. What Kulkuri said. There seemed to be a fair number of places that decided to move their 4th of July stuff to the weekend. Struck me as very strange.

    On the other hand, given that some polls indicate that at least 25% of the American populace no longer has a clue as to just why we celebrate the 4th of July or who the U.S. won its independence from, maybe shuffling holidays to accommodate a consumerist society makes sense.

    1. Yes, Nan, when we were kids we called it "Independence Day." It fell on the fourth of July, just as Christmas falls on December 25th, but we never thought to call it that. Somehow I can't imagine the switch from Christmas to "December 25th." All hell would break loose. Literally.


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