To all my fellow Americans:
I hope you had a wonderful holiday, and that you spent it with family, friends, and other loved ones. By the time you read this, I will be off to watch a nice fireworks display, hopefully something beautiful and awe-inspiring. While you are recovering from all the hamburgers and hot dogs at the family picnic, I hope you keep a few things in mind:
Remember our Soldiers: Yes, I know, the Fourth isn’t one of the holidays we traditionally associate with the armed forces, but without the efforts of the fighters in the Revolutionary War to get us out from under British rule, and the actions of our Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines in the wars since, we likely wouldn’t have the freedoms we continue to enjoy today. If you didn’t get the chance yesterday, now is the perfect time to call up any relatives who served and say a big ‘Thank You!’ And if you did serve, you have my respect, admiration, and profound thanks.
Reconnect with Your Family: Hopefully, there weren’t any awkward silences or uncomfortable moments yesterday when your family got together. If there were, though, now is the perfect time to clear them up; while picnics and other family gatherings could lead to a huge scene if you tried to solve long standing feuds, now that the festivities are over, everyone should be much calmer and ready to talk. All it takes is a simple phone call or even a letter to rekindle the conversation and move towards a happier Fourth next year.
Honor Your Freedom: Not to sound too corny, but the best thing you can do to celebrate the Fourth is to keep the spirit of freedom and democracy in your heart the other 364 days of the year. Stay up on current events, be well read, get into vigorous debates (I stress, debate, not argue endlessly) over political issues. Keep well informed, and you’ll be an excellent citizen.
Follow this advice, and the spirit of the Fourth can extend all year. Have a happy day-after the holiday, everyone!