The 4th of July seemed to come and go this year with little fanfare.
This celebration, which has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, has become more about firework displays and retail sales than anything else.
For those of us who haven’t opened a history book in a while I provide the following from the History Channel’s website:
“In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.”
The birth of American independence – that sounds pretty important. And it should be in the hearts of every American who enjoys such freedoms each and every day.
But I’ve noticed something different this year – actually, it might not be all that different at all. Maybe it’s been going on for years and I’m just finally opening my eyes to it.
Supermarkets, car dealers, shopping malls and eateries were all conducting business as usual on the 4th of July. I remember as a little kid, nothing was open on a major holiday. Families were forced to spend time at home with their families and friends – to celebrate traditions and a sense of community.
But today, holidays are just like any other day. It seems they’re more about retailers making money than they are anything else. It’s sad really. Greed has yet again come calling and our materialistic society has completely bought into it.
Erma Bombeck once remarked, “You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”
Sadly most people celebrated their independence this July 4th by standing at the cash register.