A year ago today, I was still in Ireland, living and helping out on a rural golf course. There was also a small hotel (Estate house) and restaurant. It was a diverse group that I worked with, from all corners of the world. Inevitably they all wanted to know what I, the only American, was going to do for the 4th of July. I hadn’t really planned anything, other than messaging friends back home to wish them well and ask for photos of our town’s parade and fireworks show. This was met with disappointment. As if they were expecting a fireworks show to emerge from my backpack.
I realize now, a year later, that what I was doing, traveling and experiencing life, was exactly the best way to celebrate the 4th of July. The fact that I could freely visit so many places with little fear was due to the freedoms fought for and won by our forefathers, and countless American soldiers and patriots since then.
I also realized that we are not the only nation that is free. For me, Independence day this year is not only our day. I also remember the wonderful people all over the world that I have met who are also free. Free of heart, free of will. While the date itself is significant to us because it is the date we formerly Adopted the Declaration of Independence from King George the III, (a good read for the season, for those who haven’t in a while) it has become an icon of freedom for others as well. Even in other countries, it is recognized, though not ‘observed’. We even chose to release control of the then territory of the Philippines on July 4, 1946. Giving that new nation its start on the path, though hard fraught, to freedom.
For this July 4, I spent it in classic fashion. A BBQ, good friends, A parade (My 10 year reunion even!) and capped it off with a firework show. (See below).
I hope in years to come I will continue to be able to mix reports from around the world and the home front on this day. I hope that you all had a safe and fun day celebrating, relaxing, and doing everything that makes you happy. That makes you free. That is what people have fought and died over for so many years to give you.