Reflections on the 4th of July

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Author: Jahily al'Karee, July 2014

As we approach the first day of July, many Americans are preparing to celebrate our Independence Day, July 4th. This federal holiday commemorates the date the leaders of the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, putting their signatures on the document that legally separated the 13 Colonies from Great Britain.

People celebrate this holiday in a variety of ways. Some traditions include parades, barbecue, baseball games, watermelon or hot dog eating contests, trips to the beach or other summer activities, outdoor concerts, and fireworks.

Growing up, the 4th of July was extra-special, because my mother’s birthday was July 3rd. (She would always say the fireworks were really for her!) When I was a child, our town would hold a parade on July 4th, where we would decorate our wagons and bicycles with red, white & blue streamers. Then there would be races and games in the park. My parents would hold backyard parties with barbecue, sparklers, and birthday cake.

In more recent years, we like to attend the local baseball game, which is followed by fireworks at the stadium and the neighboring city park. It takes a long time to get out of the park when all it’s over, so we bring extra drinks and snacks to pass the time – and stay cool in the heat!

However you celebrate, I hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday weekend!!