July is our month dedicated to celebrating freedom; it’s when school kids and teachers are on break, when a significant part of the population chooses to take a vacation, often to one of our national parks to see our landmarks.
It’s the Fourth of July, when President John Adams declared that the commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence should be “solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other.”
He forgot the watermelon, barbecue, and beer, but as a renowned quaffer of ale, no doubt he would have approved of our celebrations today. Whatever our faults and differences, and they are hurled at us 24/7 in our age of incessant telecommunications. A whole lot of the planet would still like to pour into our land to experience what we Americans so often take for granted: the freedom to complain, to get furious with our government, to make as much money or seek as much celebrity as we can think up, the freedom to reproduce at will, the freedom to read anything we can lay our hands on, to dress and dance with abandon, and to worship (or not) pretty much as we please. The list goes on and on, despite our increased rules and regulations.