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So what is the Fourth of July?
By Deborah Gafford
Some folks say the Fourth of July is not about gathering with friends and family surrounded by vast amounts of food, ice tea, and sodas. It’s not about sitting and talking comfortably with those friends and family despite the threat of mosquitoes as you eagerly await the dark in order to enjoy brilliant fireworks displays. It’s not about parties, parades, music, and speeches.
There are people who would say the Fourth of July is all about our country’s history and the Declaration of Independence and therefore should be more solemn, not a reason for backyard parties and get-togethers.
I disagree. The Fourth of July is exactly about gathering with friends and family, enjoying plentiful food and freedom of conversation, as well as taking part in or enjoying parades, music, and speeches without fear of reprisal.
On July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was agreed upon by the Continental Congress, made up of representatives of all thirteen colonies, declaring our freedom from Great Britain’s repressive rule. It stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” It listed man’s “unalienable rights” as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Gathering publicly with friends and relatives, freely discussing thoughts and opinions on any given topic, being able to partake in bountiful amounts of food rather than withhold it for fear of there being nothing to eat in the future, and publicly displaying love of country is what the Fourth of July is all about. The freedom to participate in such activities is what our forefathers meant when they spoke of our unalienable rights to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
So when the Fourth of July arrives, greet it with a joyous display of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Then remember and be grateful that we live in a free society thanks to the efforts of Americans who came before us as well as those who stand together now to assure that our country thrives in freedom for all.
Deborah Gafford has lived in Floresville for the last 21 years. She taught elementary school in Floresville for several years before retiring. She taught for 23 years, 21 in Texas and 2 in Tokyo, Japan, with the DOD system on Yokota AFB. She writes award-winning romance books for adults and is in the process of publishing a fully interactive children’s adventure series under her pen name of Dee Anne Johnson.
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