Posts Tagged with "july-4th"

Independence Day 2013

July 4th, 2013 at 5:50 pm by Mark
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I’m sorry to report that I’m not feeling very “patriotic” lately, given my personal circumstances. Regardless, I do wish everyone a happy — and, most of all, safe! — Fourth of July.

Dorothy: "But hpow can you talk if you haven't got a brain?"  Scarecrow: "I don't know, but some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?"  [Congress]

Happy 236th Birthday, USA!

July 4th, 2012 at 5:39 pm by Mark
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Even Wal-Mart got in on the act. Of course, the flag has only 11 stripes instead of the usual thirteen… Damn Chinese knock-offs…

Now it’s just a few hours before we celebrate the birth of our nation by going outside and shooting off another incredible Chinese invention: FIREWORKS!

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Happy Birthday, America!

July 4th, 2007 at 9:51 am by Mark
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     Today’s our country’s most important historic holiday, Independence Day, July 4th.  It commemorates the signing of our Declaration of Independence, the document which began the American Revolution and outlined, in no uncertain terms, that our “colony” would revolt from tyranny and come into it’s own.
     Last year, I wrote about the history of fireworks during the celebration, mostly because I kept hearing people complain about them.  It amazes me how people can forget history and sentiment so easily…

     Fireworks are beautiful, large and loud.  A proud display can give even those with the hardest hearts a smile, and a small display makes us wish for more.
     They’re also one of my favorite things to take photos of — freehand, without a tripod.

Copyright © 2003 Mark Steel, All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2003 Mark Steel, All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2004 Mark Steel, All Rights Reserved

     Last year’s complaint has this year been replaced by, “Why do we have cookouts and drink beer?”

     For the very same reason I enjoy taking photos of fireworks.  For the same reason we can drive over to a secluded place and set off a massive display.  For the same we complain about “our loss of Freedoms” so much…
     The reason is simple:

     Because we can.

     As Americans, we take for granted what’s missing most everywhere else.  Like it’s been said a million times, “With Freedom comes great responsibility.”  As long as we can continue to act responsibly, we’ll never lose that.

     Happy Birthday, America!

And the Rockets Red Glare…

July 4th, 2006 at 11:34 pm by Mark
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     Some two hundred thirty years after the signing of our final draft of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, most people have forgotten “why” we shoot off fireworks to celebrate Independence Day.  Most people think that it has to do with the Battle at Fort Henry, and Francis Scott Key’s dramatization of “bombs bursting in air” in our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.
     However, the truth is even more simple.

     By 1776, Fireworks had been used at important events for hundreds of years.  In fact, it was John Adams who made them into the tradition which has withstood the test of time.  In a letter to his wife, he wrote:

I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival… it ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…

     During the first Independence Day celebration in Philadelphia in 1777, the public reading of the Declaration was complemented by bells, candles, cannons and firecrackers. 
     In succeeding years, celebrations increased, but it was only in 1941 that Congress finally declared Independence Day an official Federal Holiday.  It was probably during that time that the use of Fireworks first became misinterpreted as student textbooks were updated.

     However, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the sentiment that Fireworks are representative of guns and bombs.  On this day, we should all remember the tyranny this country left behind, and the devastation that followed after the years of war.

     We would do well to remember how our forefathers fought and died in order for us to attain our Freedom, remembering that the road to Freedom was paved with the blood of those who fought for it.
     But we should also remember that this is a day to be celebrated, not mourned.  It is a day to thumb our noses at tyranny.  It is a day to remember that we are one country, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

     Happy Fourth of July, America.