Errr... I mean, 4th of July. Sometimes I forget the reason behind the season and just start to celebrate deep fried festival foods --mini-donuts, stuff on sticks, Indian tacos, and beer gardens.
I just got back from a quick trip around the downtown food fest -- oops, there I go again. The inflatable kid bouncy things were deflating and making way for lawn chairs and families getting an early jump on prime fireworks watching spots. What the heck? Is someone REALLY going to stake their claim four hours early? Oh well. Not everyone can watch the fireworks from his/her bedroom window.
My mom, my uncle, and I strolled the town square listening to live music and watching kids get caricatured and folks get henna tattooed. Everyone and his dog was out on the town --literally--there were a lot of dogs to be seen. I thought about taking pictures just to show the diversity of pooch, but I was afraid of appearing strange, so I took pics of food instead!
On a more serious note, many folks get patriotic on Independence Day --they don the "team colors" and wave the flag, singing songs of praise for one's country. It all smacks of a giant pep rally. I see nothing wrong with that except that too quickly it's all forgotten. Like a Christian who makes it to church for the holiday services a few times a year, too many of us are fair weather-Americans. Patriotic, duty-bound citizens when it serves us, when it's popular. Too many of us curse the government, the economy, in one moment and do nothing to change the things we can with all our other moments. A Chinese proverb says, "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." Don't just celebrate our freedoms with bottle rockets and cold beer--honor your country's independence with your votes and by getting involved in your communities.
What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility ... a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. --Adlai Stevenson
The true test of the American ideal is whether we're able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. Whether we allow ourselves to be shaped by events and history, or whether we act to shape them. --Barack Obama
The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair. --H.L. Mencken
The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. -- Mark Twain
Happy Fourth of July!