Friday, July 3, 2009

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness...

Little known fact about the Fourth of July: then-future president John Adams thought people would celebrate our nation's day independence on July 2, the day the Declaration was officially accepted by the Continental Congress, not July 4 - the day it was official to the rest of the colonies.

So in deference to both President Adams and history, I'm going to split the difference and celebrate on my blog today. : )

The LA Times has an abridged version of the Declaration of Independence on one of its blogs. It is edited for length and typographical understanding. Personally I'm okay with omitting all the haths and thous in favor of clarity; this version does not diminish the power of the ideas and motivations of the men who crafted the original document.

The Daily Star in Oneonta, N.Y., publishes an editorial annually in time for the Fourth of July, entitled "Independence is the cornerstone of America." It talks not in grand language about the lofty ideals of the American democratic experiment but in simple terms about what it means to everyday people. It's no soapbox appeal, just a reminder that our country was founded to give people the freedom to say and do what they believe, regardless of whether someone else agrees with them. I think that's why I appreciate the Fourth on a level other than the ninth-grade U.S. history way - it's the one political holiday people all along the party spectrum can celebrate and not tilt its meaning to the left or right.  

On a slightly more down-to-earth level, the Denver Business Journal reported MillerCoors and Pizzeria Uno donated 8000 cases of beer and 25,000 pizzas to the men and women fighting in the Middle East on July 4. MillerCoors, Pizzeria Uno and DHL partnered with Pizzas 4 Patriots, a non-profit committed to sending food and beverages to soldiers overseas. 

I thought it might be fitting to put the National Anthem on here instead of a picture today, and this particular version struck me on YouTube. I still can't decide if it's original or slightly disrespectful. I'm leaning toward original since I've never seen the reaction Marvin Gaye gets to his rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" (written in Baltimore - yay Maryland!) at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.

1 comment:

Lyndale said...

Being somewhat of an Independence Day traditionalist, I was wary as I clicked on this YouTube rendition of our National Anthem. But - I loved it; obviously, Marvin Gaye used some of his own musical rhythm, tones, and phrasing. Yet, his intent clearly seemed to express respect and honor. And isn't this respectful freedom of expression what our Bill of Rights intended?