It never dawned on me when I was little what was really being celebrated on the 4th of July- I just thought it was about fireworks and hotdogs. War of Independence? Huh- shrug- pass me the relish. Even when I was old enough to know what those fireworks represented I didn't think much of it, again, pass me the mustard.
Then I brought an Englishman to the party. "So yeah... would you like to go to a party where we celebrate our independence from, um, you?" Haha, thank goodness my husband has a great sense of humor and it also helps that's he not too nationalistic, so he honestly doesn't care.
I also experienced this when we went to Boston for our first wedding anniversary. I was so excited to go to all of the historical sites and I couldn't understand how he could not know who Paul Revere was. Paul Revere!! Helllllooo- "The red coats are coming, the red coats are coming!"? OH yeah, you were the red coats! Haha! Our Revolutionary War is their "American War of Independence", it's not taught in school, they don't even mourn the loss of the tea in the Boston harbor, and they certainly don't observe a day in it's honor.
What have I learned from this? I've learned to put down that hotdog, hold the relish and take some time to learn our history and do my best to honor those revolutionaries in my own way. So this 4th of July, spare a little thought to Paul Revere's midnight ride and the brave militia men, those very Minute Men who stood in two rows, in plain sight, and listened as their Captain, John Parker declared, "Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."
|Statue honoring Paul Revere in the North End of Boston, Mass. Sculpted by Cyrus Edwin Dallin, taking his "midnight ride".|
|Headstone for Paul Revere, Granary Burial Ground, Boston, Mass.|
|Minuteman statue (representing Captain John Parker) sculpted by Henry Hudson Kitson, Lexington Battle Green, Lexington, Mass. Site of the very first battle of the Revolutionary War- The Battle of Lexington and Concord.|
|Buckman Tavern, across from the Battle Green, Lexington, Mass.|
|North Bridge (aka Old North Bridge) Concord, Mass.|
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
|inscription on the obelisk monument across from the bridge.|
|Um, Sir? Did anyone tell you that you have the wrong uniform on?|
Happy Independence Day everyone!
*And a cool little fact: I'm a proud descendent of Ebenezer Chase, one of the very Minute Men who stood their ground on April 19, 1775