The Advice Sisters Beauty, Fashion, and Lifestyle website, Advicesisters.com, is read all over the world and translated into virtually every language there is. But the majority of our readers are in the United States. This weekend is July 4th weekend, Independence Day weekend.
Is July 4th Just an Excuse for Another Long Weekend?
Like so many Federal holidays, a lot of people just consider July 4th (this week on a Monday) as a reason to take a long weekend or begin a Summer vacation. But it has real meaning for all of us. Patriotic-minded people, especially our nation’s veterans and families, may put flowers or wreaths on the graves of soldiers who died for our Country’s freedom. They may gather for ceremonies at the memorials that show our thanks for their sacrifices. Some people mark our independence with parades (who doesn’t love a parade)? Others festoon their homes with American flags or bunting to show their pride. Some people go all out and dress in the red, white and blue (although some may take the patriotic spirit from fun to tacky).
Please Don’t Play With Fire (leave it to the Pros):
Lots of people enjoy fireworks, although they are dangerous and in some states. When I was a kid, the neighbors would take a metal garbage can, fill it with fireworks, add gasoline, and light it on fire. My parents dreaded this but they knew they couldn’t stop them so they would wet the perimeter of our house with a garden hose and then we’d pretty much flee to the back of the house until it was all over. Whether fireworks are legal in your state or not, unless your name is “Grucci” (the creme de la creme of fireworks families) don’t risk serious injury. You’ll have a better time if you watch the fireworks spectaculars professionals are putting on in your town or watching the nationally televised ones.
So what’s Really Important About July 4th in the USA?
Do you remember your history lessons? On July 4, 1776, The Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, after most members of the Congress had already signed it. This date marks the “official” birth of a nation. Thomas Jefferson was the author of the first draft of the Declaration of Independence which begins: “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.” *Jefferson didn’t have politically correct wording, these days he’d probably have to have worded it differently, but back then only men with land were really significant.
From all accounts, the signing of the Declaration of Independence was a subdued celebration. Certainly not the razzle dazzle of the celebrations of today. But the founding fathers and their families, and probably plenty of others did note the significance of the day with a parade of Battalions, a gun salute, and a public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776. The next year, in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777, they jazzed up the celebration to include bonfires, bands playing patriotic music, gun salutes, and fireworks. Apparently, each home in Philadelphia made a splash by displaying a candle (and they weren’t solar or electric, either) displayed a candle in their front window.
Remember the Reason We’re Doing This!
Whatever you are planning for July 4th, please do it safely and take the time to remember the real reason we are getting Independence Day off in the USA. Despite the world’s troubles, we are still fortunate to live in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”