This Friday, 4th of July, is one of my favorite holidays. Why? Its America’s birthday! I absolutely love birthdays and also parades, fireworks, hot dogs and a lot of things including the Hebrew National. Well, America is my home, a country I was born, raised up and now live in. My grandparents moved here from Ireland and Croatia to find something different and better for themselves.
When I was a child, all I could hear my father saying was how America was the greatest nation on planet earth. That it was the land of opportunities and we were entirely a democratic nation. As a child, I felt proud and I still remember how we celebrated the 4th of July. The celebrations involved a hometown parade, marching bands, carnivals and also snow cones from that cute little Italian grocer who happened to be on the route of the parade. I wore denim shorts with red, blue and white waist. When I was in high school, I marched for the same parade feeling proud and happy and all grown up. I even waved to the kids gathered on the curbs. The adults would gather around at dusk and we would have a block party. Dads shot fireworks, lawn chairs, sprinklers, kids chasing each other, excitement and a lot of laughter.
I am not certain about my family’s plan on this 4th of July. However, they are certainly going to celebrate. Even I have bought my son matching blue, red and white outfits. The park in our locality is prepping a parade so we’ll certainly attend that, there are hopes of catching fireworks too but that’s just about it.
My son’s 4th of July celebrations are certainly way different than mine used to be. We now have a mix of orthodox Jews, Muslims, Latinos, Indians, Italians and other folks living in the same locality who aren’t as excited about celebrating with us on the fourth. Also, I don’t really think that I can tell my son now that America is the greatest nation on planet earth like my dad told me back in the 70s. There are issues in America that need attention, we’ve lost civility and some of our actions around the globe are just… Well, what can I say about them?
However, this is still my home country and I absolutely love America. And this is something that I can still share with my children without having to exaggerate. We are a land of immigrants. My own grandparents happened to be those. I can now walk out of my home and get different cuisines right from my neighborhood. The park looks like a mini United Nations with so many children of different ethnicities, all trying to chase each other or run across a sprinkler.
On Friday, 4th of July, no matter what, I’m sharing my love for America proudly and out loud. I will celebrate our diversities and our history, and definitely eat some barbecued ribs in my own backyard. It’s different but it still is 4th of July.