Non-Celebratory July 4th

Everything so far this year has been non-celebratory, so Independence Day is no different. I’ve had plenty of Fourths where I was out of the country and therefore had no celebrations. When I worked in the UK sometimes my friends there would ask me why we celebrated July 4th. It was always a little awkward to say, “It’s the day we declared Independence from you. So we are celebrating being free of England.”

I wonder if the British are going to add a celebration for the day they left the EU. Seems a little early for them to declare it was a good thing so maybe they should hold off on making it a bank holiday.

As a kid July fourth was a day at the riding club with fun swim activities, a picnic, men dressed in madras shorts and a square dance. It was a fun way to spend the day until all the old people drank too much and got inappropriate. I was the days of Mad Men.

Our little town had a parade in the morning and only once did I ever go to it because watching parades was not something my parents ever participated it. My one time was when I was a Girl Scout and our troop was in the parade. It was a little spooky because we had to gather at the big cemetery on the north side of town and march down Ridgefield Road into the village. I can’t remember if we did anything more that march. It was a small town parade with kids on bikes decorated with streamers and old men driving convertibles. Seems kind of lame now, but I was happy to actually witness the parade once.

The best Fourth of July parades I ever saw were at Pawley’s Island. People would actually make floats and decorate cars. We would sit in my cousin Mary’s driveway in beach chairs and the people in the parade would throw candy to us. Now that is a parade.

2020 is not a parade kind of year and certainly not one where anyone is throwing candy. There are no fireworks at the ball park or Boston Pops playing to fireworks on the Charles, except maybe in reruns.

I guess I am happy we are our own country and that deserves to be celebrated. Having Boris Johnson as a leader would be not improvement on our current disaster. What I really hope is that people can try and remember back to a time when we did what was right for our fellow Americans. If we all tried a little harder to do what is good for the collective rather than just ourselves we might go back to living in a country worth throwing a parade for.

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