John Y’s Musings from the Middle: July 4th Leftovers

How smart were our Founding Fathers really?

Were they just good with “big ideas” about freedom, liberty and all that. Or did they have practical intelligence too?

One way to find out is to look back on the original July 4th in 1787. If it was set on a Thursday like this year’s allowing for not only a great national political event (“big idea” part) but also picking a date that allowed for everyone to enjoy a long weekend and have an extra day to recover from over-indulging on food and drink the night before, I think we can confidently conclude the Founders had both high theoretical and practical intelligence.

But if they set our big celebration day on, say, a Tuesday, we can confidently conclude they were more like a bunch of absent minded professors. Brilliant with complex and philosophical ideas….but could not be trusted with practical matters like party planning.


jyb_musingsI remember hazily a rainy 4th of July with our family about 20 years ago. My half sis Pamela was having fun holding sparklers (and trying not to let sparks touch her arm) and laughing as we tried to light fireworks on the front porch in the damp and dank evening light.

I remember looking down at a disappointing and spent firecracker that had settled amid a sea of matches that it took to finally light it.

But tonight Pamela seemed to have a slightly brighter and more memorable 4th.

She was the CNN reporter covering the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty.

And avoided burning her arm with a sparkler.

And it didn’t rain. One of the blessings of liberty is freedom of speech….and that is especially valuable since we love the power of story.


Here is a powerful scene from a powerful story exemplifying the modern essence of what we as a young nation carved out for ourselves in an early defining moment on this day 226 years ago.

Happy 4th of July.

For all the original reasons for this nationally sacred holiday. For all the reasons that have developed over the years for celebrating this holiday. And for the fireworks, cookouts, friendship and fellowship too.

As we live freely in each of our individual communities tonight together as Americans.


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