Oh, boy! One of my personal favorite holidays is just around the corner: Independence Day. As any good red-blooded American male, I am all about blowing stuff up. The thrill of lighting a wick and fleeing for safety, the heart palpitations from the resonating booms, the awe-inspiring beauty of hot ash falling from the sky; it’s all a mix of emotions that you simply can’t get any other way, on any other day.
Of course, there is more to our nation’s birthday than just pretty lights and loud noises. Naturally, I refer to the timeless art of grilling. After all, it’s incredibly dangerous to shoot off fireworks all day if you’re weakened from hunger. And there is nothing more American than a good old-fashioned steak cooked over a hot bed of coals.
I’d even go so far as to say that I
whip flog myself into a fantastic frenzy over all the food, fireworks and festivities. I sometimes forget that the real reason for celebrating our nation’s birthday is another f-word: freedom.
Chief among those freedoms, so important that the Founding Fathers made it part of the very First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, is the freedom of the press. Inherent in the right to publish anything you darn well please is the right to read anything you darn well please. As such, I’m going to set aside some free time between the food and fireworks to celebrate this freedom and read a good book. I think an appropriate book to read on this fantastic day would be “1776,” a story of how we got the very freedoms we’re celebrating.
But that’s my choice. You are free to do likewise, choose another or focus all your energy on the celebration at hand and save the reading for quieter times. Herein lies the beauty of this particular day.