With the Fourth of July falling on a Thursday this year, many of us will be enjoying an extra-long holiday weekend for which the weather hopefully will cooperate.
The Fourth of July rekindles fond memories from our childhood of the times when we spent the holiday with our families and friends for gatherings at barbecues, at the beach, and at municipal fireworks displays in the evenings.
Amidst all of our celebrating however, we often overlook the reason why we have a Fourth of July: The date in 1776 when a group of America’s leaders and best thinkers gathered in Philadelphia to declare their independence from England by means of a proclamation to the world in which they stated that the truths “… that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” remain self-evident to this day, 243 years later.
Another overlooked aspect of the Fourth, especially during a long holiday weekend, is that too many among us will engage in behavior that is risky not only to ourselves, but to our loved ones and others around us.
Fireworks are illegal for everybody, and in no event should be allowed in the hands of children. It is a sad — but inevitable — fact that countless Americans will be maimed for life because of accidents involving fireworks this week.
Alcohol abuse is rampant in our country today and the Fourth unfortunately provides an opportunity — which is to say, another excuse — for those who have alcohol abuse issues to indulge way more than they should, especially when operating a boat or automobile.
It is the responsibility of each of us to ensure that the Fourth is enjoyed safely not only by ourselves, but by those we care about. If someone has had too much to drink, take their keys — none of us wants to say to ourselves the next day, “If only I had not let them drive….”
We wish all of our readers an awesome — and safe — Fourth of July.