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Old 06-29-2006, 05:31 PM   #1
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What Does July 4th Mean To You?

What does the day mean to you and how do you observe that meaning?

I guess for me it's a day to remember that there are still so many great things about this country, in spite of all the negatives. And good people in it too. It's still a nostalgic and old fashioned sort of holiday too, not matter how much or how little it has been commercialized.

I'll also be thinking about my Priest in Iraq and how he is having a little 4th party over there. I will think about what the day must be like for all those men and women who are serving in Iraq. And for all those who have lost loved ones there.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:25 PM   #2
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I probably should have thought more of the holiday than I did. Fireworks with the accompaniment of Sousa marches and cookouts. I still get touched with the veterans and thrilled when fighter planes fly in formation.

I don't think much about it, but I sit back and take it all in.


And sparklers
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Old 06-29-2006, 07:06 PM   #3
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It's my daughter's birthday What a great day to be born - a party & fireworks every year!

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Old 06-29-2006, 08:25 PM   #4
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It means a celebration of a great idea, as Bono calls America. This is cheesy, but the kind of freedom we have, in spite of the Patriot Act, is pretty cool. Our political system was blasted as hopelessly utopian when it first developed. Pope Pius IX blasted our "liberalism", and he meant liberalism in the classical sense of the word rather than the modern--freedom of speech, assembly, etc, etc. In doing so he pissed off Abraham Lincoln and William Gladstone. I can demonstrate against the government at the local fountain on Saturday afternoons if I want to. All in all it's a pretty cool thing we've got going here. Incidentally the 76 in my ID here, verte76, represents 1776 and the Declaration of Independence.
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Old 06-29-2006, 08:56 PM   #5
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Old 06-29-2006, 09:10 PM   #6
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Speaking as a Canadian, it's a bit like a birthday party for your older brother...the one you love, and love to make fun of.

Our day, "Canada Day," is three days earlier, July 1st.

Please send a card this year
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Old 06-29-2006, 09:23 PM   #7
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I like it for whatever reason...to me it just seems to really celebrate the revolutionary concept of independance, all the ideals that the country has strived for even though we haven't always met them.

I dunno it really to me has always seemed more universal than just patriotic, don't know how I got that interpretation but I like it.

Also, it's only like the bestest Aimee Mann song ever.
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Old 06-29-2006, 09:45 PM   #8
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The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States; all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution, namely:

The Bill of Rights

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.


Amendment III
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.


Amendment VII
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
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Old 06-30-2006, 09:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by angelordevil
Speaking as a Canadian, it's a bit like a birthday party for your older brother...the one you love, and love to make fun of.

Our day, "Canada Day," is three days earlier, July 1st.

Please send a card this year


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Old 06-30-2006, 09:32 AM   #10
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[q]Sandy the fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonight
Forcin' a light into all those stoned-out faces left stranded on this Fourth of July
Down in town the circuit's full with switchblade lovers so fast so shiny so sharp
As the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past dark
And the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open like Latin lovers along the shore
Chasin' all them silly New York girls
Sandy the aurora is risin' behind us
The pier lights our carnival life forever
Love me tonight for I may never see you again
Hey Sandy girl
Now the greasers they tramp the streets or get busted for trying to sleep on the beach all night
Them boys in their spiked high heels ah Sandy
their skins are so white
And me I just got tired of hangin' in them dusty arcades bangin' them pleasure machines
Chasin' the factory girls underneath the boardwalk where they promise to unsnap their jeans
And you know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach drag
I got on it last night and my shirt got caught
And that Joey kept me spinnin'
I didn't think I'd ever get off
Oh Sandy the aurora is risin' behind us
The pier lights our carnival life on the water
Runnin' down the beach at night with my boss's daughter
Well he ain't my boss no more Sandy
Sandy the angels have lost their desire for us
I spoke to 'em just last night and they said they won't set themselves on fire for us anymore
Every summer when the weather gets hot they ride that road down from heaven on their Harleys they come and they go
And you can see 'em dressed like stars in all the cheap little seashore bars parked making love with their babies out on the Kokomo
Well the cops finally busted Madame Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they do
This boardwalk life for me is through
You know you ought to quit this scene too
Sandy the aurora's rising behind us
The pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh love me tonight and I promise I'll love you forever[/q]
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:29 PM   #11
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:52 PM   #12
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What does the 4th mean to me? Not a whole hell of a lot. Which is not to say that I don't love my country or feel lucky to be a citizen of such a prosperous, free country. Especially living at the very edge of what could still be called the U.S. I appreciate it all the more. (Saipan is a U.S. territory but culturally it is not really the U.S. to me. Non-citizens outnumber citizens there).

But I don't think that much more about it on the 4th. I think that's because I don't think much about the "actual" meanings of any holidays including Christmas. Holidays have meaning for me on a personal level--that's what makes me sentimental about them.

So what does the 4th mean to me? Well, for me this year it means that my entire family is going to gather at my sisters condo, and we're going to eat and hang out and watch the fireworks on Lake Eola from her 18th floor balcony. I can't wait!
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
But I don't think that much more about it on the 4th. I think that's because I don't think much about the "actual" meanings of any holidays including Christmas. Holidays have meaning for me on a personal level--that's what makes me sentimental about them.
Me too. Of course I am glad to live in this country and appreciate the contributions of the founding fathers. As far as remembering those who fought (in the war) for independence, it's hard to relate to because I'm so far removed. Veterans Day means a lot more to me in that sense since my late grandfather fought in WWII, crossing the Rhine and liberating Nordhausen concentration camp and Paris.

What I think of first are things like going to the beach to relax, decorating my bike with red, white, and blue ribbons and riding in the parade, going to fireworks with our big group of family friends, making sure our biggest flag is flying, etc.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:51 PM   #14
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The 4th of July means, a sense of pride to live in a wonderful country that gives generously to others who are in need. I remember the men and woman who sacrificed their lives for US. My grandpa who fought in WW2 and the Korean War.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:02 PM   #15
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I have a tremendous amount of pride for the United States, and I value my freedom and respect those who have made sacrifices for it. However,every 4th of July, I always remember this incident:

During my brief stint working at a 7-Eleven, I worked second shift by myself on 4th of July. When I informed a customer I couldn't break his $100 bill (just like our sign on the door says), he began yelling at me that he was a veteran, and that was no way to treat a veteran, especially on Independence Day. He continued to yell and was also insulting me, saying how stupid I was, until I started to cry. He then snarled, "I fought in Vietnam for your independence!!!!!!!!!!!" and stormed out of the store. I couldn't make myself stop crying as I waited on the people who had been in line behind him.

So...as pathetic as it may seems, I always remember 4th of July as the day a veteran made me feel like crap and bawl my eyes out in front of a whole bunch of people.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:12 PM   #16
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It's my birthday! Not being American, obviously it doesn't have any cultural meaning to me but it does have the advantage that friends tend to remember the date, although I then get lame jokes about "Born on the 4th of July".
My brother in law shares the same birthday and a couple of times in the past we've all gone to American bars over here to celebrate which has been great. What I would really love to do one year though is to celebrate it in style in the States. What do people think is the best place or way to enjoy the day if I do ever make it?
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greenlight
What do people think is the best place or way to enjoy the day if I do ever make it?
Maybe this is only true in my area, but typically we don't travel for this holiday. There's a lot of "hometown pride" involved in the 4th of July holiday. Many people go camping or boating. It's sort of the norm to stick around your hometown with your family and friends there and have a picnic and go to some fireworks there, unlike Christmas and New Year's when people fly all over, like go on Caribbean cruises or watch the ball drop in Times Square.

So, you could really go anywhere because every single town or city will have their own parades and fireworks. Obviously, the bigger the city, the more extravagant the display.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:26 PM   #18
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What do people think is the best place or way to enjoy the day if I do ever make it?


New York or DC -- the fireworks on the National Mall and/or the East River have to be seen to be believed.

though the heat in both places in the summer is a killer.
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:13 PM   #19
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^ yup...I've seen both and they really are a sight not to be forgotten.

Ironically, the 4th of July is usually a very "international" holiday for us, as what we've done for the last several years now is post a notice in the foreign grad student center inviting one and all to a barbecue at our house. Usually about 30 students show up, mostly homesick 20-something singles who simply couldn't afford to go home for the summer. Then we'll invite a few other faculty families, ones with children generally, so that there's someone for our kids to play with. It's nice for the students, because it gives them an afternoon and evening in a real American home, eating home-cooked food, with children running around and all that, rather than yet another evening in their apartments hunched over their dissertations slurping ramen noodles. Then afterwards, we have a modest amount of fireworks, boring (read: quiet) ooh-aah type ones for the adults, while the kids usually go out in the front yard with the noisier stuff.

The other thing our family generally does is go the county fair--many towns across the country hold their 4H/county fairs around 4th of July. The rides are overpriced, and the food is generally lousy (though there's a cheerful Amish family who run the greatest apple dumpling stand every year), but what I really like about it is the chance to go through all the barns getting a chance to meet and talk to all these pint-sized, self-assured preteens who are there to show their prizewinning steer or colt or quilt or pair of geese they raised or produced all by themselves. Pretty amazing kids.

I can't say we do much that's explicitly "USA"-focused, though as a family we do always throw a few lines into our prayers that day of gratitude for what Justin mentioned--living in a country that has, when all's said and done, and despite for sure some inexcusable failings along the way, really always displayed an incredible ethos of generosity when it comes to welcoming and taking in people from every corner of the world. (Ever thought about the words of that "I Lift My Lamp Beside The Golden Door" song most of probably learnt in grade school? I've never known quite what to think about the labelling implicit in that "give me...the wretched refuge of your teeming shore" bit lol, but anyhow it really still is a pretty singular, amazing, powerful idea, that here is a place where we'll measure you against no lofty preconceived cultural-identity standard and hold no particular presuppositions about "your kind" and how capable they are of finally belonging. Anyone really can join. Of course, our friends in Canada and Australia uphold the same principles.)

Anyhow it's always a holiday I look forward to.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:49 PM   #20
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The other thing our family generally does is go the county fair--many towns across the country hold their 4H/county fairs around 4th of July. The rides are overpriced, and the food is generally lousy...
Yes! County Fairs are the best! Even here in Northern California, you can still find them. To me - that's my favorite activity! Riding rusty, rickety rides with my "braver than I am" step-daughter and eating greasy funnel cake as we wait for the fireworks played to Neal Diamond's "America" - which I can never actually hear because of the cheap speakers and booming fireworks

I love the 4th for all of the other reasons as well (patriotism, freedom, watching "Band of Brothers" yet again again on the History Channel, U2 had a song titled "4th of July" which doesn't remind me of the 4th of July whatsoever...etc)
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