The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

It is July 4th, 2010 (or 4 July 2010, for any Europeans reading this).

So, here where I live, it's the Independence Day Holiday. I have always loved this holiday. It's the sort of day that one would assume would be full of jingoism and nationalistic hubris, being as how it celebrates the day that the United States declared it's independence from Great Britain, but it tends not to work out that way.

To be sure, there are people who do engage in the usual obnoxious "my vision of this nation is better than your vision of this nation, so get on by bandwagon or drop dead" bullshit, and there are those who see this day as yet another opportunity to declare their alleged superiority to "inferior foreigners". But this people are in a definite minority.

What I love about this day is that the vast majority of my fellow countrymen see this as a day to celebrate the fact that, whoever we are and wherever we come from, we are all part of this greater entity called the United States of America, and we all need to recognize each other. I have seen people set aside their differences, make a (at least temporary) peace, and genuinely enjoy each other's company. Indeed, the July 4th spirit is much like what the Christmas Spirit is supposed to be.

I'm normally not someone who feels much desire to be part of a community, in fact I usually eschew most community events in favor of time alone. But this is a day when I make an exception. I host parties, I seek out company, and I revel in the community.

I am not a jingoist. I'm not someone who blindly claims that my country is inherently superior to all others, or that it is always right when the eveidence shows otherwise. But this is my home, and I love my home. And today is the day when I celebrate with the other residents.

It's a good day.

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