Wednesday, July 4:   Happy 4th of July to America!!  Today we celebrate our 236th year as an independent nation.  I’m away from home this year, but I hope that all my fellow Americans have a wonderful holiday with their families and friends.

The Fourth of July, or more officially, Independence Day, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  On this day, we declared our independence from Great Britain.

Independence Day is commonly celebrated with fireworks, parades, barbeques, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions,and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.

Here’s an excerpt from our amazing Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

I do have to admit that, even though I love the meaning of our national holiday, I have never really enjoyed the actual celebration.  This is because, at least in the Washington, D.C. area, where my permanent home is, it is usually hot and sultry.   Huge crowds of people congregate on the National Mall to watch a spectacular fireworks display, but getting into and out of Washington on the metro or by car is quite an ordeal.  And I don’t like having outdoor picnics accompanied by sweating and lots of flies and mosquitoes!

Even though it is possibly my least favorite holiday, I do wish everyone a wonderful day and a joyful celebration!