If you ever needed a reason to think that this country marches to its own slightly odd drummer, just look to some of our holidays.
Take Thanksgiving, wherein we celebrate the original, tentative bond between the early settlers of this country and the land’s original inhabitants. Through the years, that has evolved into a general celebration of giving thanks for what we have, and we celebrate with two days of unbridled excess: a huge meal with a huge bird, and then the shopping bacchanalia that breaks out the next day.
Or Independence Day, marking the day that the fledgling states-to-be adopted the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. And this celebration has morphed into an excuse to go to cabins, drink too much, wrap ourselves in the flag, and blow things up.
Why isn’t this day given over to a celebration of the people who did so much to form what we have? Why not celebrate the “founding fathers,” early presidents, and sure, even those leaders who came after to help move the country forward into ever better places? Wait, what’s that, John Adams?
[July 4th, 1776] will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Even he’s confused: solemn acts of devotion to God, followed by guns, bonfires, and blowing things up? It’s something I’ve never quite managed to wrap my head around: celebrating an all-American holiday by employing Chinese products that have been perfected by Italians. Hmm…How melting-pot of us.
But what are we celebrating on Independence day? We don’t celebrate the founding fathers, or presidents. Heck, we don’t even celebrate them on Thanksgiving Day. No, they have their own day: Presidents’ Day. Troops who fought for the country’s ideals? Same thing: Memorial Day. Workers? Yup: Labor Day. Mothers? Mothers’ Day. Irish saints? You got it! St. Patrick’s Day! We’re all-inclusive here, really. Just don’t try to cross the borders illegally.
So tomorrow, as you’re blowing things up from the bonfire in your cabin, remember the troops who labored to bring the presidents to where they are today in this great country!
God Bless Holidays!
See you tomorrow.