Happy Independence Day America!
July 3rd, 2019
Celebrating Our Country.
Remember July 4th when you were a kid? The local parade, a barbecue with family, staying out late to see fireworks at a beach or park nearby--maybe a neighbor had sparklers for all the kids. It was simple, and it was great! It felt happy—like a real celebration. We all felt proud.
On the North Fork, it still sometimes has that 1950s, 1960s feel in many ways. Most villages still have a parade. We’ve gone to various fireworks, and it’s wonderful dropping anchor to watch the Crescent Beach Fireworks on Shelter Island from the water side. It’s just very cool.
I also feel that celebratory feeling when I watch the NYC fireworks display over the East River along with the incredible musical selections. It’s truly moving, and somehow the “pomp” and over the top fireworks capture what this day is all about.
I’m still hoping to “feel it” this year. But now, a celebration of our country—“like no other” is planned in Washington, D.C. Focused on military might, including tanks and fly overs, and a speech by the President, it doesn’t have the makings of the home spun tributes to our forefathers that we have cherished over the years. Yet, aside from “appearances” which is what this seems to be about, there are two aspects that concern me greatly.
The first is the potential for our national celebration to be used as a campaign "stump/stomp" that is politicized, and for which each and every American (those that pay taxes, that is) will be paying for, coupled with the fact that there is a significant VIP section set aside, and I am worried that those who are perceived as VIP by the Administration in an exclusive sense, might not be very important to the people of the United States in the “good for our country” sense. If the section is reserved for individuals and families (regardless of political party) of veterans, 9/11 first responders, Peace Corp service members, nurses, scientists, artists, educators, not-for-profit staff and volunteers—that would be an appropriate July 4th tribute, as they truly make our country great.
And, second is the mounting waste of resources this “show” represents—resources that could be used to solve urgent problems such as rectifying conditions of immigrants being detained in sub-human facilities, re-uniting families that have been separated as a result of faulty policies, financial assistance to teachers paying for supplies for students out of pocket, provision of school lunches of high nutritional value for children, restoration and development of educational enrichment programs, and the protection and conservation of our natural resources and public lands--to name a few.
It is important to the U.S. and to the world that America is a country that can come together. The sons, daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren of immigrants that have melded their cultures to become Americans have the most true and generous hearts. This wonderful spirit is what we have been known for throughout the world, since the very beginning of our nation in 1776. Indeed, from our beginnings in colonial times, we are a country of immigrants.
Wishing you a joyous and safe holiday--Happy Fourth of July Everyone -- from all of us at Hummingbird!