Independence - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

7.7.04

Independence

We have just finished celebrating the Fourth of July. Notice that I said we observed a day of the month, not a specific event. And that's got me wondering: why? Why do we refer to the most profound event in our nation's history as merely a day in July? Of course, we all know it's Independence Day--the day of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. The fact that it was done on the Fourth of July was just a matter of timing--it could have as easily been done third or the fifth--but it did, in fact, happen on the fourth, so that date became hallowed in our history. Nowadays, we tend not even to mention "Independence" in reference to the fourth of this month. In fact, most of us don't even bother to pronounce the entire day--we say simply "the fourth," and that takes care of the whole holiday, Independence and all. We don't say we're going to celebrate December 25th, or January 1st. There is precedent, at least in this hemisphere, for enumerating a sentiment, both in Cuba, and in Mexico, where the fifth of may, or "Cinco de Mayo," is roughly equivalent to our "Fourth of July." it's a toss-up as to whether the Mexican man-in-the-street knows or cares that it signifies a victory by them over the French in 1862. But it is a good reason to have a party, and we americans have practically usurped the holiday for that reason. But, it would be nice if we could keep a little more "Independence" in our Fourth of July.
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