STATESIDE STORIES: The Spirit of Independence!

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Fourth of July fireworks, New York



By Mary Foran

Fireworks, a four-day weekend celebration, outdoor bar-b-cues and picnics, a holiday atmosphere everywhere and red, white and blue flags waving… The American Spirit of Independence brings in July with a bang!

It all started a year after the Revolutionary War against the British Rule in April of 1775, when the Continental Congress declared Independence in 1776 on July 2nd in Philadelphia in a document largely written by Thomas Jefferson and signed by representatives of the original 13 colonies. They formally announced the separation from Great Britain and the birth of the United States as an Independent nation.


The 4th was chosen as the official day to celebrate and became a Federal holiday in the States. Travel to take advantage of the puente is considerable and busy and outdoor grills are fired up for feasts that include chicken breasts, pork chops, wieners and sausages, vegetables and corn-on-the-cob, as well as the occasional steak.

The secret is in the Bar-b-cue sauce, and everyone has their own recipe, brought out just for the occasion. Light summer ales, blush wine or your favorite soda complete the treat, and some people make their own version of Sangria to liven up the festivities.

Americans have an independent streak a mile wide, but after all is said and done, we consider the Brits one of our closest allies. As long as they don’t rule us, we admire them very much. We support them in their Brexit plebiscites and look forward to many years of neighborly cooperation across the pond. Brita-philes abound in the States and Masterpiece Theater and a British accent are guaranteed to be successful.

Homestead in Wyoming

The wild way America came into being has characterized the country throughout its history. It wasn’t just the Wild West that told the story of an emerging nation. It was the hard-working American Independence-loving homesteaders who settled large parts of the land, the cattlemen and the horse-breeders and the long-suffering farmers who fought drought and floods to get their crops to market.

Then there were the miners and the loggers who toiled in the shafts of the East and the forests of the West. And those who produced crude oil to run America’s automobile industries.

There were those in government with the foresight to declare large tracts of wilderness land as National Parks for the benefit of generations to come. And fisheries have been regulated to ensure that the species we most love to eat will last into the future.

And now we will be heading for Mars! (After a return to the Moon, they say!)

So may the Spirit of Independence brighten your July and remind you that when the people speak, governments should listen.


Featured image/dabrat718, CC BY2.0
Corn/spykster, CC BY2.0
Homestad/railsr4me, CC BY-ND2.0