Celebrating the 4th of July, Not Independence Day

Posted by Anthony Mango Sunday, July 4, 2010

See what I mean?
Think about it...when's the last time you heard someone (other than an insert commercial on TV) say to you "Happy Independence Day" rather than "Happy Fourth of July"?

I've talked briefly before about how I feel certain holidays have become more about the holiday now than whatever the celebration is supposed to be about. Thanksgiving is more about eating dinner than giving thanks. Christmas is more about getting presents, listening to the music, decorating, etc, than anything religious. New Years is one of the only still hanging on by a thread, despite how there's still that massive movement of trying to designate it a day to celebrate getting drunk rather than the new year itself (though it's helped by the resolution factor. If interested in my pov for that topic, go here.) The same goes for Independence Day, wherein people celebrate it more so as "the fourth of July", ie, "let's celebrate the holiday" instead of "let's celebrate our independence".

Sure, it has the decorations. After all, you need to identify it somehow, right? Thanksgiving has the turkey, Halloween has the pumpkin, Christmas has the tree, and come the fourth of July, the American flag is everywhere - which makes perfect sense, don't get me wrong. But who stops to think of the purpose?

It's more so about the cookouts and being out in the sun. If we had won our independence in March or April, it wouldn't be as big of a deal anymore. It'd be more like how we treat Presidents Day or Arbor Day or what have you. But despite all this, I can't really blame anyone. The cookouts are what's fun about it. You're not going to have a ball sitting around reading up on the history, discussing hardcore politics of the Revolutionary War.

So if you're feeling patriotic, good for you. If you aren't, you're like the majority, and that's ok, because hot dogs and hamburgers and bullshitting around is much more fun. Either way, happy Independence Day.

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