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From Jacksonville Beach, FL

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fireworks vs. Well . . . What

     My neighborhood is already popping with the sound of small firecrackers and children's reactive shouts causing my cat to hide under the bed fearful of the noise.  The beach has a throng of swimmers and sun bathers even though the temp is in the mid-nineties and predicted to go higher.  Beer flows freely and picnics have been spread.  Tonight the sky will be red, white and blue with fireworks.  
     Our founding fathers no doubt are pleased to know we celebrate their hard work at securing our independence, but would they recognize all of the above as traditions of celebrating it.  In 1776 and a few years afterwards, no doubt a sedate "huzza" would have been the prevailing celebration. 
     Celebration traditions and how they develop are most interesting.  What of the television marathons?  I read that today there's all day tv for episodes of "Dallas," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Superman," "NCIS," "Jaws,"  and many more.  How did this develop?  People are home with nothing else to do?  
     Then there's baseball, the first watermelon of the season, parades, ice-cream (best made in a churn, at home), and decorations for the yard and house, and don't forget red, white, and blue clothes.  All of these developed over many years as suitable commerations of the day.  
Each neighborhood and town has devloped their own.  
     What does it all mean?  It means that in some way we remember and honor Independence Day and that is a good thing.  As disconnected from the holiday as they may seem, the tradtions are passed along to children, and soon they will say, "It just isn't the 4th of July without homemade ice-cream." 
      See contest photos of some people's depiction of the holiday, some weird, some serious.
However you celebrate, enjoy and take a moment to remember the USA story.

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