Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

It's Independence Day in the United States!
There wasn't much of a country back on July 4, 1776. Just the representatives of the thirteen colonies signing the Declaration of Independence (which had actually been adopted two days earlier). The Revolutionary War wouldn't be over for another seven years. And the United States government as we know it wouldn't come into being for another thirteen years, when the Constitution was adopted in 1789. Nonetheless, July 4th has become the day when the country remembers its founding.

The traditional celebrations are many: parades, fireworks, picnics, etc. I like watching big fireworks displays as much as the next guy, but rarely bother with any of the rest unless I'm joining friends or family. My anti-social tendencies showing, I suppose. As a general rule, I enjoy myself more with solitary actives like reading or video games than being in a crowd. Especially when I'm likely to get a sunburn.

My least favorite part of the holiday is when everyone and his brother decides they have to set off their own little fireworks show at night. I'm fairly sure some of them aren't even bothering with visual displays. It's just making noise, and lots of it. Happens for a good 3-4 days around the holiday every year, usually for at least a few hours after sunset.

The fireworks can be dangerous, too, as you can see in the news just about every year. Do a quick Google search for "fireworks accidents" and there's no lack of stories about people losing fingers and hands and occasionally eyes. And fire marshals around the country are constantly trying to remind people that exploding things are terrible fire hazards. I'm happy to leave it all to the professionals.

So have a happy Fourth of July, but please be safe in the process. And consider keeping the noise down.

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