By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
On this blistering hot Independence Day — the mercury just hit the 100-degree mark here in Chicago and across much of the nation — there’s not much to do. Except stay cool, that is. Wish we had friends who owned a pool.
So with an iced drink in hand, I decided to offer a few thoughts about our nation’s birthday:
We’re a Little Late, Sort of. According to this post from Wikipedia, the 13 original colonies actually voted to break away from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. The Declaration of Independence, was signed two days later. So, perhaps we really need a three-day national holiday — from July 2 through 4! And why not: We’ve cheapened and bastardized just about every other holiday. Or do you really enjoy hearing Christmas carols minutes after the leftover Thanksgiving turkey is put away?
Are There Any Independence Day Songs? Besides Those from Sousa? Think about it: Have there been any American composers, or foreigners for goodness sake, that have penned music that shouts “Independence Day” from the mountaintop, other than John Philip Sousa? Listen to Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and your patriotic zeal will boil. And, on a day like today, it won’t take long for anything to boil. So, come on American musicians — be you a rocker or a rapper, a folkie or a jazz cat — write a song about July 4th. (Note: Must include references to fireworks, parades, hot dogs and beer.)
Do We Really Need to Celebrate with Fireworks? Call me a spoil sport, but I just don’t see the value — or allure — of fireworks, especially around Independence Day. In the hands of kids or idiots, they become very dangerous weapons. They leave reside in the form of spent bottle rockets and shredded paper, and I trust I’m not the only one who finds the scent of sulfur to be quite unappetizing. And, really, do you enjoy being startled at all hours from an exploding cherry bomb?
That’s my take on Independence Day 2012, the nation’s 236th birthday. Stay safe out there, and if you have a moment, share your thoughts on what the holiday means to you.