For Your Independence Day

  • Joey Upper

It’s that time of year, folks.

Independence Day means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The fundamental truth remains the same: today’s the day that we established for ourselves a national identity.

No matter what happened from July 4, 1776 on, we were, are, and ought to be a free and sovereign nation.

We didn’t know who we were going to be. In fact, our first take at a government-defining document, the Articles of Confederation, fell flat on its face – but while the government of our nation evolved, the core of who Americans are remained the same: we are independent, and we are free.

I don’t think many realize that even now, much less the late eighteenth century, how rare it is to establish a government on the principle that the people are inherently free, and the government is created to guarantee and protect that idea.

It’s one of America’s greatest ideas. You can slot right behind it National Parks and real, actual football.

Independence Day loses a little of its profundity when we call it the Fourth of July. It loses a little more when we dive a little too far into its commercialization, too.

There’s nothing wrong with Independence Day meaning hot dogs, fried chicken, burgers, brats, and barbecue all piled up into one literal heart-breaking casserole.

Parades are awesome. Lots of people love fireworks – so long as you’re respectful of those who really, really don’t like them (veterans in particular) for very legitimate reasons. Having friends and family over to kick your grill into maximum overdrive is great.

Just take a minute to recognize what the day really means, too.

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