July 4, A Celebration Of America….Or Just A Reason To Liberate You From Your Money
By Bob Nesoff
July 4, 247 years after 13 colonies told a despotic British monarch to take his tea and leave these shores. What has it morphed into?
Just watch television or pick up any newspaper and the proliferation of sales is overwhelming. Big Box stores such as Target and Best Buy and oh so many more use patriotic holidays to rid themselves of excess inventory and shore up the bottom line. But there are those to whom July 4 means more. So much more. They may be at BBQs and family gatherings, but they recognize the importance of Independence Day. To them, many military veterans it
approaches a religious observance.
Fireworks are left to municipalities to light up the night sky. The veterans and their families gather in backyards and local parks. Hot dogs, hamburgers and sometimes steak are the mainstays of the day. They don’t make a show of the gathering and may lift a beer or glass of soda in honor of the Battle of Monmouth, Fort Lee and so many others where blood was shed so that today they speak with a distinct American accent rather than British.
Those who served, and their families, will gather to relax, enjoy family and friends. This is not a somber moment, but rather one to exult in who we are to day and how we got there. Most probably there will be no discussion, or at least no major discussion, but they know the holiday means much more than slipping away to buck crows in big stores.
Major league ball teams have taken to honor a particular veteran during their games. They show respect.
Some towns hold parades with participants from military units, Boy Scouts and fraternal organizations. Many other towns, such as the city of Passaic in New Jersey, have created an Avenue of Flags in a park. Passaic Mayor Hector Lora said the Avenue of Flags: “Is aimed at uniting the community in paying homage to the countless sacrifices made by this country’s brave servicemen and women, as well as celebrating the values and ideals that the flag represents. “The event promises to be a joyous gathering, brining together the passionate citizens of Passaic, local dignitaries, veterans and community leaders,” Lora said.
The Avenue of Flags are expected to be a precursor for more locations throughout the city.
There is a group of “Silent Warriors” who meet periodically to honor the country and their service. They are called the “Green Berets.” Officially they are the U.S. Army’s “Special Forces.” Many people today do not even know they exist because they seek no publicity. But their contribution to the security of the United States is immeasurable.
To them July 4th is a sacred holiday. Granted the ability to wear a Beret by the presidential order of John F. Kennedy, they were the only American unit to wear such headgear. Their motto: De Oppresso Liber,” To Free The Oppressed, stems from their respect for America’s freedom and July 4.
Independence Day is not a holiday to diminish Memorial Day, Veterans Day or any other patriotic holiday. But without the meaning behind the July 4 celebration, there would be no such other holidays. Enjoy the beer and hot dogs. Enjoy the family gatherings. Respect the holiday and all of those that are of such great importance to the people of the United States; those born here and those who chose to come here and become part of our fabric. Of all the holidays celebrated in this country, Independence Day is arguably the most important. We are one nation, one people and a melded fabric of all those who came before us.