The Declaration of Independence was signed on the 3rd of July and Thomas Jefferson said ‘Let the bells ring out on this day.’ So why do we celebrate the 4th of July? The 4th was the day that the document was sent to the last few signers for their signature (a formality at that point) and was eventually adopted as the holiday — even though our Independence wasn’t won until 1779.
So now on the 4th of July we gather our families together, cook outside, set off small explosives, watch large pyrotechnic displays, and annoy the heck out of other countries who could care less about an American holiday. Or in my case drag the entire gathered family to the movies to see Superman Returns…What better way to celebrate American Independence then seeing the return of an American hero who stands for “truth, justice, and the American way?” Unfortunately, while I loved the movie, that phrase was changed to “…truth, justice, and all that stuff…” It’s a sad commentary on the state of the union when our own heroic icon has to be distanced from the word “American.”
When did national pride become a bad thing? Have so many people been brainwashed by their high school civics teachers that they cannot separate the presidency from the country itself? America has a rich history that is entirely separate from whatever rich, white guy holds the office of the presidency at any given time, and while I may not like the choices that an individual president makes it in no way diminishes my love of my country or what it stands for. The presidency is an elected office, not the nation itself, so regardless of whether that office is held by a cowboy, a horny hillbilly, an actor, or a peanut farmer it shouldn’t diminish the pride that we the people should feel for our nation; The United States of America.