Like a large population of the U.S., I wouldn't say my family is overly patriotic. We have a flag outside of our house, like everyone in our neighborhood, we say the pledge of allegiance at school, and sing the national anthem at games, but we don't have America tattooed anywhere. And yet, the 4th is always a day that we like to celebrate.
So why is The Fourth such a cultural blowout? Stores have sales, neighborhoods have parties, families gather from near and far, and some use the weekend to travel, sometimes even out of the country. Is it just another reason to drink beer outside and eat cole slaw and brats? Or do we really value it as Independence Day?
Most of us don't refer to it as such, perhaps because it's easier to say the 4th. But it's quite easy to take our freedom for granted, forgetting that the day has some serious implications of war and struggle along with the celebratory fact that we're an independent nation. Like Memorial Day, St. Patty's Day, and the like, we haul out our decorations, put on ugly shirts, and party like it's 1999.
It seems as though America possesses and champions a cultural love of celebration. Any chance to throw a party is for us.
Remember, we're a country in the throw of an intense immigration debate that heavily emphasizes Mexico, yet we happily celebrate Cinco de Mayo.