Does the Fourth of July mean anything more than picnics, fireworks, and a day off work? I have to admit that I sometimes wonder. Now don’t get me wrong — I enjoy a picnic as much as anyone, and I absolutely loved a day off from work before I retired. But even then there was something special about the Fourth of July.
This day commemorates the day when The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia in 1776. The Declaration, containing the words “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.”, is one of the most profound documents in history.
It used to be that most people felt this was a pretty special country. We learned the history of our country — the people and places. We said the Pledge of Allegiance in school, and the Star-Spangled Banner was played at school events. We also learned how the song came to be written. We learned the text of the Gettysburg Address, and knew the words to “My Country Tis of Thee”, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, and “America the Beautiful”.
I grew up on a farm outside a small town in Indiana. Almost everyone in the area turned out for the Fourth of July parade, and the program before the fireworks display. The fireworks themselves almost always included a representation of the Liberty Bell or the American flag. We all felt we were a part of something very special.
The title of this blog is “Senior Moments”, and I’m getting more senior with each passing day. I guess I’m rapidly becoming a curmudgeon. If so, please forgive me. I only wish my grandchildren realize that they, too, are part of a very special country.
I hope you all have a very wonderful — and happy — Fourth of July.