Friday, July 3, 2009

Irked by the "Fourth of July"

No, I'm not anti-patriotic.

What irks me is that we almost never hear the words "Independence Day". We are not celebrating the fact that a specific day on the calendar happened to come up again. We are celebrating that on that day, 233 years ago, a certain event took place. The thirteen colonies, after a month of wrangling and delaying tactics, finally agreed to a resolution in favor of independence from Great Britain, and then to a statement of the reasons for taking that step.

Yet, in newspapers across the country, on radio and television, you see, read, or hear such things as "4th of July Events"; "Come early for the 4th of July parade"; "Sale on the 4th"; "Celebrations of the 4th"; ad nauseum. It seems we have barely remembered what we celebrate on this day and why.

Oh, I know that "4th of July" takes a whole lot less characters than "Independence Day" in a headline, and one less syllable when spoken. That allows print and broadcast media to have a smidgen more space or air time to print or write something else.

But doggone it, I don't celebrate the 4th of July. I celebrate Independence Day. I look forward to a time when our country does so again.

Oh, I wrote an article at about the debates leading up to the original Independence Day. Check it out here.


Gary said...

Dave, as you know and fondly recall from time to time, Rhode Islanders were two months ahead of the Declaration with their own act of defiance - the burning of the British revenue cutter, Gaspee, and the shoot of its captain a posteriori (pun intended).

No debate; action instead.

Unfortunately, most of the latter day citizens do not celebrate it, although there is a little parade and a mock burning of a cardboard replica no bigger than an office desk on a Saturday in June (wrong month). The kids have fun, but have no understanding of what's going on.

David A. Todd said...

And of course, my grandson was born on Rhode Island Independence Day.

I never fail to greet someone on May 4th with "Happy Rhode Island Independence Day." Most people think I'm nuts.