04 July 2010

i am not celebrating the 4th of july . . .

I am celebrating America's Independence Day! Which happens to fall on July 4, since that is the date on the Declaration of Independence.

No, we're not the only culture that does this. B's boat was actually in Norway for their Constitution Day, which Norwegians like to refer to as "Syttende mai," or 17th May.  As for the U.S., John Adams actually wrote a letter to his wife Abigail on 3 July 1776, predicting that we would be celebrating the 2nd of July.  Why?  During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June.  Adams' prediction of our fanfare was mostly accurate, minus that whole date fiasco:

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

Alright, Mr. Adams, let's see how we're doing:
Pomp and parade?  Head on up to our nation's capital for their annual one
Shows?  I hear there's a jazz ensemble playing down at Town Point Park
Games and sports?  An American competitive eating tradition, of course:  Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest    American Joey Chestnut FTW!
Guns, bells, bonfires, illuminations?  Let's be American and blow crap up!  Scared of drunken injuries?  We can even do it digitally!

Happy Birthday, America!  You hardly look a day over two hundred and thirty-three.

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