Let’s continue with the column dedicated to the Independence Day, today with the words of Dusty Richard, proudly texan, who tell us how this American holiday is celebrated in one of the most patriotic states in the US, giving us also some beautiful historical anecdotes.
Question: What made the Independence Day an American holiday so much loved in the country?
Answer: Independence Day has always been a most revered holiday in America. For most Americans, it is a time when families come together and celebrate America getting one year older.
Our struggle for independence was unlike any nation before or since. We decided to break away from the British Empire, which had the strongest navy and army the world had seen since the Roman Empire of antiquity. We rebelled against the British Empire’s unlawful levy of taxes (stamp, paper, tea etc.) due to the exorbitant cost of the French and Indian War (1754-1763).
The colonists didn’t feel we were being represented in Parliament and refused to be taxed without being represented so we fought for our independence. With the odds stacked against us and help from allies’ years into our struggle, we won our independence and struck a huge blow to the strength and reputation of the British Empire’s.
Since 1776, this day has been celebrated with pomp and circumstance every year and for good reason. We declared our independence on July 4th and give thanks to those who gave the full measure of devotion, as Abraham Lincoln said, to secure it.
We have become and will remain a beacon of freedom and a city on a shining hill for many immigrants and refugees who seek liberty at our shores.
Many families have members who serve in our armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard) who sacrifice every day to ensure we remain free.
Lastly, Independence Day gives all Americans a sense of duty of pride to remember what has been and needs to be done to remain free. As President Ronald Reagan said:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Q: As you have had the opportunity to see, which is the feeling of the Americans toward this holiday?
A: American feelings toward Independence Day are many but ultimately most Americans are proud of being born in the freest of nations.
Independence Day gives us a sense of pride on what our nation has accomplished in 243 years. America was created on an idea that we can rule ourselves which was unheard of since the time of the Greek Democracies before the era of Christ. There have been many duplicators but only one original, that is the United States of America.
Naturally born Americans, I think, are at a disadvantage because freedom is all we have known. It puts a smile on my face when I see immigrants that have come through the right way to be American citizens. Some of them had to wait years for the chance to enter our country and even more time before they can become a citizen of this great country. They take a citizenship test that possible many of our own citizens cannot pass. Through all that struggle, it means so much more to them than for some of us.
People from the Soviet bloc in Europe, China, and Socialist and Communist countries throughout the world know what it’s like to have every part of their lives controlled from cradle to grave. They come to America to determine their own path and make an enjoyable life for them and their families.
America isn’t perfect by any stretch but there is a reason why many seek to come to our shores and fulfill their destinies.
Q: How 4th of July is celebrated in Texas? I mean, it is a so patriotic state…
A: I have lived in Texas since 2000 and have experienced nearly all of my Independence Day celebrations have been in North Texas. We take our freedoms seriously due to be the only state in the union that had been our own country (1836-1845) before being annexed by the United States government.
A huge percentage of the makeup of our armed forces come from Texas. According to the Department of Defense personnel data, Texas comes in second in the nation behind California on having the most members (164,234) of the armed forces in 2017.
We celebrate by getting together and enjoying each other’s company and enjoying the festivities either at home or in town with the fireworks display that last for about 45 minutes. There are patriotic events, firework displays and parades that go on all day around the country and the biggest celebration is held in Washington DC (our Nation’s Capital). Other cities such as New York City, Boston and Philadelphia hold festivities as well. Specifically, for Texas, the grandest ones in Texas are probably in Austin, Dallas or Houston. The celebration also gives all Americans and especially Texans the feeling of what it is to be an American.
Q: You have some personal memories about this holiday that you want to tell?
A: For Independence Day, I usually share it with family and friends as it is one of my favorite holidays of the year. When I was younger, I remember watching documentaries on A&E or the History Channel on the Revolutionary War or on the founders of our country like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or John Adams. It showed me the sacrifices they took to turn an idea of America into a reality.
For the last 10 years, I think about all of the sacrifices our men and women in the armed forces make every day and those who lay their lives down so we can remain a free people.
I start thinking about our founders and knowing that if they lost, they would lose their lives due to their treasonous acts against the British Empire.
I also think about brother vs. brother or friend vs. friend in the Civil War.
My mind then drifts to WWI and WWII to make sure the world had the same opportunity as we do to decide for themselves what kind of nation they want. We extinguished German and Austrian aggression in WWI and eliminated Nazis and Japanese dominance in Europe and Asia in WWII. Due to our efforts, many nations were and can decide by the voting process who they want to lead their countries.
Q: What made America the greatest country in the world? Give your tribute to the Independence Day!
A: I love being an American!! Even though our history is not as vast as Egypt, China or England, our history and actions are just as impactful. We started as a colony of Great Britain starting in 1616 with the founding of Jamestown in Virginia and eventually the founding of 12 other colonies which ended with the Georgia colony in 1732. 40+ years later, we declared our independence from Great Britain and by 1783, we had won our freedom to determine for ourselves what kind of nation we wanted. Starting from a small nation of 13 colonies, we expanded to 50 states in the next 170 years.
We fought for our freedom against Great Britain again in 1812 and came out victorious by the efforts of many including future President Andrew Jackson.
We fought each other to eradicate the institution of slavery, fought for equal rights for African Americans which includes the right to vote, to own property, and much later, not to be harassed due to the color of their skin. We fought for the right for women to vote, we fought to keep the world free in Europe in World War I and Europe and Asia free in World War II. We fought to eliminate Soviet influence in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. We fought to minimize John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie influence and monopolization of oil and steel industries and fought to ensure minorities had a seat at the table.
Lastly, Americans are the most charitable people on Earth, and we give hundreds of millions each year to causes local, national and international to people in need. Our government give billions in foreign aid to nations to allies and to those who we have a rocky relationship with, like Palestine and Pakistan.
We have accomplished more in the 243 years of our existence than most countries could do in a millennium.
Even though America has had issues internally and externally, we are still the shining hope for the world. I will end with a great quote from our 16th President Abraham Lincoln:
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”