Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day: It's not about the fireworks.



Last year was the first time my family did anything for July 4 since I was young and we took annual trips to Stone Mountain. Nash Farm was a great place to visit for the holiday. If I could remember everything, I would recount it now. Unfortunately, a year is a long enough time to forget the small details that make up the bigger story.

This year, my father concluded that he was not particularly in the mood for the traffic and the entrance expense to visit Nash Farm once again, even though I hoped the last three days for a different result. Fine. It was turning out to be a crappy Independence Day. After not doing anything for the holiday in years and then finally going to Nash Farm, I assumed things were turning for me, but apparently not. I did not sulk, though. Yes, I acted like a big girl about it.

Shanna mentioned possibly cooking up some hot dogs and playing a movie, so I figured that as long as I was doing something with my family, it would be alright. Besides, we live close to a few parks, and can usually see fireworks from our home. But all day, I was secretly bummed, and there was nothing I could do. My father mentioned that I should find something to do with my friends since we were not going anywhere, but I know my father. If I take off on a holiday, he will regret ever mentioning it to me. In fact, he is so patriotic sometimes, he would hate that he could not spend it with all of us. And I would hate that I was not with them.

And while I sat on the computer thinking about how much I wish I could be at the reopening of the Statue of Liberty's crown, Nash Farm, the Atlanta Tea Party, Horse Farm, or even, in my most desperate gloom, Stone Mountain, I began reading articles and blogs that remind us why America celebrates its independence, and to whom it is meant to regard. Totus posted a blog today that immediately changed my mind and my mood. His post simply quoted our Declaration of Independence, written in the hopes to pull away from British rule and establish ourselves as a free-thinking people. Today, our Declaration still stands for what the truly patriotic believe. Cynicism aside, the people know why America became an independent nation, and only the people can keep it as such.

Sitting with my family, eating hotdogs, and watching Die Hard IV: Live Free or Die Hard, was enough for me. Independence Day is not about the silly fireworks that mesmerize young eyes, or the crazy glowing and sparkling toys that are passed to people at shows. It is not even about going somewhere just for the sake of being outdoors. Independence Day is about our freedom. We are all free people, and we are because of those who fight for it, and for those who care enough to stand in lines with others for it. It is a time for Americans to realize that they are incredibly blessed to be living here with basic rights of which too many are deprived.

As much as I would love to have presented a blog with amazing pictures of some spectacle that I attended, I am realizing now more than ever, that being places is a great joy, but it is not all there is. Appreciating every day is a better use of my time than wishing I were traveling somewhere else writing about the Seven Wonders of the World. Happy Independence Day, everyone! Be glad you were here to celebrate it.

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.

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