The Fourth is our only celebration that truly brings all levels and ethnicities together. Really the only one. Well, before this fake ass russian white supremacist was couped into office by fraud (strong feelings about that, anyone? lol) Think about it. Christmas supposedly has a cooperative spirit but comon, it specifically divides by religion. Religion and anything related to getting large groups of people to get along demonstrably hasn’t worked since people got thirsty in the desert and started seeing God. Easter, same shit. New Years then. Which one? Chinese, Hindi or Mayan? Fourth of July is literally the birth of this country but also has become the best symbol of the ethos of what this country was supposed to be. Seriously. I’ve been at many mass celebrations (ahem, don’t judge….yet). The Fourth is the only one where there is an authentically communal feeling. Where everyone there swells with the same feeling. And because of this there is truly a cooperative feeling. I mean it is the ONLY time I’ve ever been invited to cut in the beer line without Iraq starting up. INVITED. Point made.
I also argue that it is America’s most reflective holiday. It takes all the national holidays and combines what they are supposed to be about into one whole day of reflection on where we came from in all its uncertainty and what we have become because of what we have sacrificed collectively as a nation. And we all take the whole day (or days when we get lucky and close to the weekend on the calendar) to stop what we normally are doing to freely aggregate and associate. That coming together for something we all acknowledge is special for only us in the world also makes for special atmosphere for private relationships. It reminds us that we are spending a special time, an event with someone. That fact in itself makes them special. The fireworks with their light and thunder brand that moment into our memories. As George Lopez would say, “You ‘member.” I remember eating hot dogs in Durham not really caring about a Bulls baseball game because I was sitting next to Monica. And it was the first time we had really been alone at camp. After the game we got closer as the fireworks went off until we were cheek to cheek. Exaggerating oohs and ahhs as the light filled the night. That cemented us. Even though we did nothing else that night (separate buses back to the dorms). Our road was mapped that night and we were on the journey together.