Monday, June 28, 2010

Independence Day

Independence Day commemorates the birthday of the United States. As the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, it is a major American holiday and an important time for celebration. Today, communities across the nation mark this major midsummer holiday with parades, fireworks, picnics and the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner”. Many Fourth of July customs have not changed since our earliest celebrations. But some communities across the nation have developed their own special traditions:

Celebrants in Seward, Alaska, take part in a six-mile foot race to the top of Mount Marathon and back. Further north in Kotzebue, Alaska, traditional Inuit contests are held.
The citizens of Lititz, Pennsylvania, have spent their winters since 1818 making thousands of candles so that the children of the town can light them during a special "Festival of Candles" the night of July 4.
And, on the morning of July 4, the community of Tecumseh, Nebraska, raises more than 200 flags around the courthouse as a way of remembering those who have served in our country's armed forces. Each flagpole bears the name of a man or woman from Tecumseh who has served in the United States military.

The Declaration of Independence is fading yellowing parchment and is almost illegible but still a revolutionary document that is remembered in “Why Freedom Matters, by Daniel Katz”. A motley collection of articles more or less remotely connected to patriotism and the American way of life. Caroline Kennedy’s “A Patriot’s Handbook” is a large book that portrays her vision of the land that she loves. This book is 646 pages of poems, songs, essays, and writings, The Declaration of Independence, the Salute to the Flag, pictures, everything and anything that means or speaks of America.

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