Happy Independence Day!















Happy Fourth of July!

Someone recently asked me if I was a patriot?

I had been bragging about Mexico's soccer team turning the tables on the United States in the final minutes and then running away with its second straight Gold Cup win.

This one means that "El Tri" or tri-color (for the Green, white and red colors of Mexico) gets to play in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, a year before the World Cup.

Pablo Barrera scored twice for Mexico, which rallied to beat the United States 4-2 last Saturday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

“What are you talking about? Just becasue I am rooting for Mexico doesn't mean I don't love America!,” I shot back.

I could have given him a recap of my tours of duty in the middle east and Europe where I had served honorably for many years.

I decided against it and instead I gave him a civics lesson on this precious holiday. 

As I soon found out that too many of us, take the Fourth of July as an extended weekend.

An occasion to get together and celebrate our love of fireworks and barbecues.


Just the other day, I asked a neighbor's kid about the 4th of July and he couldn't tell me the reason behind its celebration.

A middle school kid, he certainly lacked some important civics knowledge.

Patriotism doesn’t mean that we have to make anyone agree with the belief, our belief that we have the best country imaginable.

We're part of a country that believed in the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness before they were mainstream.

Countries across the globe are at this very moment fighting to establish these very rights. 

That thousands of people come to our shores each year seeking what we have. 

More over, we live in a country where our system of government is based on the consent of the governed.

How cool is that?

Many of our young men and women in uniform have for many decades given their lives?

And not because they were forced conscripts, and forced to fight and defend our country and its people.

They volunteered to protect a way of life that is unique in the world and deserves this amazing celebration.

To be a patriot is to believe in America’s past and its potential.

Yes, no doubt that I’m a patriot.

But let me tell you some of the same things I shared with my neighbor about this 4th of July Independence Day celebration .

Did you know that the very first 4th of July celebration took place on July 8th?

That many of the traditional ways we celebrate today (military parades, cannon and musketry volleys, the ringing of bells, music, bonfires, fireworks and speech-making), were actually part of a larger custom to celebrate the king’s birthday!

In the summer of 1776, soon after the signing, people took to the streets and began to hold mock funerals for King George III, some went as far as burning his effigy.

That same summer, King George III's equestrian statue in New York was cut into small pieces and smelted into bullets.

The actual announcement of independence from Great Britain, was declared to be an act of treason, one punishable by death.

I have to hand it to those  brave 56 signers... it was truly a testament to the bravery and commitment to support and sign the Declaration of Independence.

There are also some unusual or funny trivial facts.

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national animal?

Thank goodness for Thomas Jefferson and John Adams who chose the bald eagle instead.

The stars on the flag, represented the colonies and were purposely arranged in a circle, so as to ensure the equality of all colonies.

One of the most weird coincidences came 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

On its 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1826 the principle author Thomas Jefferson and John Adams its editor both died on that same day.

Thomas Jefferson from dehydration and John Adams from old age, but his heart failure was due probably hardening of the arteries they now believe.

The first Fourth of July party held at the White House was in 1801.

It wasn't till 1938 that it became a legal holiday.

The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.

The words Under God were not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until the year 1954.

So today 235 years later, we continue to proudly celebrate our national holiday, one filled with fireworks, parades, the stars and stripes, patriotic marches, flags and hot dogs and BBQ gatherings.

No matter how you celebrate it… I hope everyone has a great día!

Please remember that it is pretty dry all around us and fireworks are a fire hazard.

The loud noises also scare our pets, so keep them safe.

So enjoy the 4th and be careful and please don't drink and drive!

Happy 4th of July!!

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