Originally published July 4, 2015…
On the Fourth of July, aka Independence Day, Americans commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. A benchmark document of historical significance defining the spirit of our country, it basically stated in many words that the thirteen original colonies formally severed ties with Great Britain in response to acts of tyranny. Here we are 240 years later honoring this patriotic event as a symbol of freedom attained by sacrifices and struggles ongoing since the birth of our nation.
How do Americans “collectively” celebrate Independence Day? Picnics, barbecues, fireworks, and parades.
While I’d like to think the Fourth puts a détente to political squabbling between the Left and the Right with a focus on bands marching straight forward in a parade—you’ll never find me at one. It’s a darn shame too because I live along the parade route leading to Bristol’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration stepping off at the corner of Chestnut St. and Hope St. Established in 1785, it is the oldest, continuous celebration in the United States replete with a 2.5 mile military, civic, and fireman’s parade. Needless to say, it’s the pinnacle of patriotic assemblies.
Bear in mind that on the night before, streets are closed to traffic and parking bans are in effect which mandate the multitude of attendees walk a great distance to join the ground swell of onlookers for an obstructed view of marching bands and floats. Therefore, I choose to exercise my freedom by declaring my independence to sever ties with parades, staying away from the purple haze of musket fire.
On board with barbecues because the collective collaboration involves a manageable number of relatives and friends, I’ve declined this year’s annual invitation to the family barbecue at a cousin’s summer home in Matunuck by the sea. Lower gas prices and favorable weather forecast a massive migration of the Rhode Island populace to our south shore beaches. The hour long commute stalled by bottleneck traffic has fired up my declaration of independence to forego the trek.
As much as I am in awe of the rocket’s red glare and bombs bursting in air from those spectacular, star-spangled fireworks, I declare my independence to stay away from the maddening crowds. From an historical perspective, leaving the scene by car requires a road traffic controller, making for an explosive situation!
I do declare, this year you’re apt to find me asserting my independence on the Fourth off the beaten path. I’ll be at Gregg’s Restaurant. Shunning the politically correct healthy choices, I’ll be sinking my teeth into a good ‘ol American Texas burger—8 oz. Angus patty topped with melted cheddar, bacon, onion ring, smothered in barbecue sauce with a side of fries.
Won’t you join me? On second thought …
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