America's Birthday

America’s Birthday Celebration On The Suncoast – Let Freedom Ring and Hope Fly High

The Fourth of July is a time each year that we celebrate America’s Birthday. This holiday serves as a commemoration of the Declaration of Independence, being signed into existence on July 4th, 1776. That document signed by the founding fathers of this country severed the thirteen American colonies’ dependence and subordination to Britain. As birthday parties go, this one is the biggest next to maybe only Christmas. There are so many events each year in communities across the country. It is sometimes hard to pick just one way to celebrate.

America’s Birthday – Celebrating Freedom

This year though, most of us are celebrating the freedom of just being allowed to congregate again to celebrate after the pandemic cutoff of all things last year. As a result, the Suncoast will feature many live music events, fireworks, and a myriad of other family-friendly, beach-worthy, boat racing, health-inspired, and just plain fun events this year as we celebrate the biggest birthday bash of the year. Most remain focused on their “big plans” for the weekend, but for a moment, we need to give some thought to the origins of the country that spawned said holiday.

This holiday should cause us to pause for a moment to reflect on the magnitude of this celebration. And no, I don’t mean how many minutes straight the final fireworks display at any given show will be. I’m referencing a holiday that, for a moment, is a celebration that everyone young, old, white, black, democrat, republican, straight, or LGBTQ will gather to celebrate. From the states of California to Maine and down to us here on the Suncoast, this holiday is something we all share. A history that to this day draws immigrants to our fine country to pursue the freedoms our founding fathers built the Declaration of Independence and this country upon. A moment that those men signing our Declaration in 1776 knew was meaningful, but I’m pretty certain none of them could have seen the turmoil, forward momentum, and change that would occur in 245 years since that big day.

America's Birthday

A History of Ups and Downs – Hope Prevails

We have built up, torn down, and evolved in 245 years to a country that even in our first immigrants’ wildest imaginations, they would not have fathomed. We have seen countless other pioneers change the history of slavery, women’s rights, medicine, and even gender issues. Sure, we have a long way to go, as did the founding fathers back in 1776 to build to the potential they saw in this fledgling country. Yet, through it all, a pandemic, racial divides, raucous elections, horrifying crimes, and numerous wars – hope still lives in every one of us.

Those who stand up for injustice, put on a uniform to defend our borders, and teach our next generations all share this one thing – hope. They believe that things can change; they believe that, yes, for every few steps forward, we will stumble, fall, and need to regroup. For every war we win for new freedoms from oppression, some will live in unjust, unsafe, and unhealthy situations in this country. Here in America, though, we celebrate with big loud voices raised together because we continue to believe that the truths penned on a document 245 years ago still have validity today:

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.

Let’s all pursue our own versions of happiness this coming weekend, during America’s birthday bash. As we all exercise our freedoms to gather again for whatever style Fourth of July you enjoy – know that across this great country, so many others do the same. For a moment on Sunday, and through this long weekend, let’s remember how fortunate we are to live in this country with so many freedoms afforded up. Enjoy, celebrate and let’s make this July 4th safe, happy, and amazing after all that we have come through in this last year – and the previous 245. Happy Birthday, America!

Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos

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