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Thoughts and a Story about the 4th of July

July 4, 2018

(image via wikipedia)

This is a good time for the 4th of July.  Some people say the United States is divided worse than it’s ever been since the Civil War.  I wasn’t around during the Civil War, but I was a kid in 1976, and there was divisiveness back then.  Watergate and the Vietnam War had just happened.  Watergate and the Vietnam War were both kind of divisive.  Yeah, the protests were winding down a little in the 1970’s, but if cable news and social media had been around back then, they could have fanned the flames a lot worse.

Politics can be toxic and turn normal people insane.  That’s why we need unifying events like holidays and celebrations.  The 4th of July is a great unifier for the United States.  It doesn’t matter what our political beliefs are; we can celebrate our love of liberty together.  Law abiding citizens can watch stuff get blown up legally, and in a few places, law abiding citizens can legally blow up the stuff themselves.  It’s awesome, as long as you don’t get hurt.

And if you’re in the United States and can’t stand celebrating the 4th of July, if you feel like you can’t associate with others because of political beliefs or other differences, then… YOU ARE UNAMERICAN AND YOU SUCK!!!!

Okay, I was just kidding about that last part (people can’t tell when I’m not serious because of my monotone voice), but…  USA!  USA! USA!

And now for the story!

*****

4th of July Story

 Relax. This picture was created in 1902. It was okay for kids to fire off guns back then. (image via Wikipedia)

(image via Wikipedia)

I was 10 when the United States turned 200 years old.  It was a big deal back then, but at the time, the meaning of the 4th of July was lost on me.  As an adult, I understand July 4th  is the annual celebration of the signing and approval of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress.

I understand how important the following sentence from The Declaration of Independence is:

 “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.”

That one sentence had a bunch of concepts that were unique way back in 1776.

The Declaration of Independence is also known for John Hancock’s really big signature.  As an adult, I appreciate how momentous the signing of that document was and how it began the process of liberating the colonies and forming one of the greatest nations in the world. I also appreciate John Hancock’s really big signature.  Several jokes have been made about how a guy named John Hancock had a really big signature.

When I was a kid, I didn’t understand all this, including the John Hancock jokes.  Back when I was 10, the 4th of July was about shooting off fireworks.  And 1976 was a great year to shoot off fireworks.

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From → Pop culture

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