We all hear the bemoaning of the trivialization of holidays in modern culture. Christmas is now about shopping and gifts, Thanksgiving about the stresses of travel and food preparation and Memorial Day is about a day off work and an excuse to eat watermelon at a picnic for the first time of the year.
It is also often stated that we have lost sight of the true meaning of Independence Day, and have instead focused our attentions on family vacations to the beach, fireworks and hometown parades.
See, this is the intrinsic beauty behind celebrating the Fourth of July — there truly is no wrong answer. We celebrate however we see fit, because that is part of what the framers of the Declaration of Independence had in mind when they joined in a collaborative effort to present to the people of this country a nation where individual freedom is to be protected and celebrated, not stifled through forced conformity from above.
See, standing in tacky patriotic clothing along the streets of Bethany Beach while a parade of eclectic floats and children on bicycles roll by beats standing at attention while giant missiles and thousands of troops make their intimidating trek through the streets of a non-free nation any day of the week.
Eat hot dogs and spill mustard on your shirt, clap for that zany float in the parade and find a comfortable spot for your family and self to share the experience of a fireworks display coloring the night sky. Be goofy and loose, play catch with a child or just enjoy a quiet day of reading while waves crash a few feet away from your toes.
This is America, and it is only right we celebrate the brave actions of our forefathers by doing what we want, when we want. Happy Fourth of July.