Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 4th, Independence Day....

Just for a minute, I want to do some grumbling & ranting. First, a question.

What is July 4th truly about??? Does anybody remember???? Let me say it. It's a day to celebrate the signing of our constitution, to celebrate the Declaration of our Independence from England, and because of those two previous items, a day to recall our Bill of Rights as well. It is a day about INDEPENDENCE.

Let me tell you what it is NOT. It is NOT a day to see who can outspend whom on fireworks, on nifty do-dads, on bigger & better grill-outs. It is NOT a day to worry about entertaining one's whole neighbourhood by spending more money on bouncy-castles & carousels than one's monthly salary. It is NOT a day to be retitled "Independent Rental Day" because they (a local store) supposedly have the best deals in town on rental equipment (including said bouncy-room & carousel, as well as giant pig rotisieries, a dunk tank, and other things) and will let you rent these things for 2 days over the holiday instead of just one.

Another radio commercial I've been hearing for the last 2 weeks (I believe it's Freddy M's, though I may be wrong) entails one guy telling his next-door-neighbour what a loser he is because the neighbour is going to have a reading of our Declaration of Independence and not $500 worth of fireworks and another $100 of fancy grilled food, like the first guy. Supposedly our kids should be encouraged to be more excited about Fireworks than learning about their country's history. (Like that takes any encouragement. I don't know a single kid who voluntarily will choose a reading of the Dec. of Independence over a massive fireworks show. Which is why I'm more likely to encourage the education than the entertainment.) The first guy in the commercial is expounding on while his July 4th celebration is SOOOO much better than the second guy's because he's spent a small fortune on fancy trimmings.

I am soooooo sick of hearing & seeing all these ads that trying to co-opt these holidays for commercial reasons rather than to celebrate our freedom & our gratitude towards our ancestors & fore-parents. It's bad enough that we're encouraged to spend month's worth of salary on Christmas gifts, now we're being told that we're bad people if we expect our children to recognize today (or Memorial Day, or Labor Day) as something other than another reason to show off to one's neighbours. It's discusting. And most especially when we're currently at war. How much more unplugged from reality are we going to get???? I don't approve of this war, but at least I recognize that there are American soldiers dying today (and I'm sure that there will be, because there's been a death a day, almost, for the past few months), serving our country, fighting in a foreign land. Maybe I wish they were home with their families grilling-out, instead of fighting in Iraq, but at least I'm not making a mockery of their fight by pretending that today is all about showing up the neighbours and trying to outspend each other.

And so, as I dig out my copy of our Declaration of Independence to read to my daughter and refuse to spend money on a bouncy-tent & a dunk-tank, I'll be thinking of the men & women who founded our nation. I'll say a prayer that none of our soldiers die today, and I hope that I'm among a great many more in our nation who are discusted by the edicts of the stores that we should retitle the day in THEIR honor, instead of honoring those who came before us.

Have a Blessed July 4th. May it mean as much to you as it means to me!


Gardener Greg said...

Great post. I am proud to say that my children spent a great part of the day watching a TV show on the history channel about what the 4th really means. I even watched parts of it and found it fascinating.

We did have a modest firewords display but I kept it under 25.00. No jump castles or things like that though.

I had a great 4th of July thank you,


Dirk_Star said...

Well said!

Now, please help me to help Al Gore save the planet.

Princess Banter said...

Unfortunately, a lot of holidays and occasions have been highly commercialized, no thanks to hallmark. Most people think of fireworks and bbqs when they hear "4th of July" -- and the very essence of it has gotten lost. You said it loud and clear... hopefully more people will actually care about history and go out of their way to find out the reason why we're taken out of work for one day...

Connie Peterson said...

Amen, sister!!! Very well said! You and I think very much alike, which is probably why we are friends. I am going to link your post to mine so others can read it as well.