How will you celebrate the Fourth of July?

John Adams thought that Independence Day ought to be observed with “acts of devotion to God” and “with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations.” Today’s Question: How will you celebrate the Fourth of July?

  • Mary

    I will be celebrating with my son, soon to be daughter-in-law and her mother, on a NC beach. We will enjoy dinner and fireworks later as we continue to celebrate her (daughter-in-law) becoming a US citizen, in a beautiful ceremony yesterday!

  • suzie

    The flag is out flying in the breeze and the beautiful sunshine. Have watered the gardens and after some quick housework will sit in my lawn chair under a shade tree and enjoy a good book.

  • Neil

    I don’t really “celebrate” the Fourth, much as I suspect most people don’t either. It’s mostly a day off to enjoy, though I feel somewhat blank about my ambivalence.

    Yes, I’m grateful for this nation and the efforts it took to ensure it’s existence. But I suspect that our national holidays have become opportunities to enjoy more personal time with family and friends rather than a time to reflective or honor the holiday’s meaning.

    I’m going to a big get-together later today and I doubt there will be any discussions on the revolution. Maybe I just came up with my first topic; I’ll see how well that goes over among the hot dogs, beer, and fireworks.

  • The only time I actually celebrated Independence day was when my wife and I lit off 3 wimpy fireworks and shouted something after each one.

    1. Freedom of Speech!

    2. Freedom of Religion!

    3. Freedom of the Press!

    We mostly just laughed but it was more than the usual grilling and drinking I would normally do.

    Now that I’m an expatriate I doubt I will even think about it much beyond this post.

  • CF

    How to celebrate freedom in People’s Republic of Minnesota

    Go over to Wisconsin and buy fireworks. Patronize a Wisconsin small business and pay Wisconsin sales tax. Perhaps stop at a Wisconsin gas station for a bottle of water.

    Slip over the border back into Minnesota with fireworks carefully hidden in the car so they are not obvious, all the while nervously aware of any State Police I might see as if I where smuggling narcotics. Knowing that if stopped, the Police State could search the car for no obvious reason and discover my contraband.

    Get home and pull into my driveway and with a sigh of relief say, “whew, I made it again”. Now the fun begins. Go outside and light off a few fireworks, then dash back into the house and wait for the Police State to drive down the street. Go back out and light a few more fireworks, keeping an eye up and down the street for any police patrols.

    Then for some real fun. Wait for the Gestapo to drive down the street and after they have passed and turned around the corner, light off a few packs of Black Cat firecrackers and race back into the house. Hopefully the smoke will clear by the time they turn around.

    And that folks is how I celebrate freedom in the Police State of Minnesota.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I’m going to be standing by with my garden hose to defend my house in case my crazy neighbor with his illegal fireworks sets the place on fire.

  • Anathea Alberda

    Open a few birthday gifts, eat a little cake, and end with birthday fireworks!

  • Steve Miles

    Every July 4 for the last 35 years or so, I have read each word of the Declaration of Independence as printed in the morning paper. This year these words struck me “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

    They remind me of Egypt, Syria, Burma, Libya, Tunisia, Bahrain, Zimbabwe …

  • CF

    @ Steve The Paranoid

    Ya know Steve, maybe you should get off your high horse of Prohibition and join your crazy neighbor and celebrate. Yeah, drink some beers, put some meat on the grill, shoot off fireworks and have fun once in your life.

    And then maybe your neighbors won’t think you’re such an ass.

  • Vivian

    A real redneck utopia Steve, why don’t you up the Ugly American in you and go join them?

    It sounds like a blast.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Lighten up, CF (And Vivian)! My comment was no more out there than yours was. Sheesh, some folks have no sense of humor. And I might add, fearing the “state police” in Minnesota sounds a lot more paranoid than fearing accidents with fireworks, because the latter is actually a problem.

  • CF

    I wouldn’t have to be paranoid if they were


  • Sarah

    By toking up on some incredible ganja with prayers of thanks and praise, enjoying loving family and friends, refreshing lake swim and play, making music and tasty food and treats. Later we watched dozens of fireworks on the horizon and near from a Minneapolis tower.

    It was a very nice Fourth of July.

  • Steve the Cynic

    And those fireworks would be legal if it weren’t for too many careless folks using them unsafely and endangering their neighbors with them.

  • CF

    You see Steve, using that mentality everything would be illegal. Automobiles, electricity, natural gas, airplanes, liquor… even medicine for that matter.

    But what Steve the Utopian wants is a Nanny State where Prohibition solves ALL our problems. Where making it illegal will make it go away, like magic! Meanwhile it’s the irresponsible people who are the problem, not the contraband. Prohibition only destroys more lives than it feebly tries to save!

    No Steve, I have never had an accident with fireworks that endangered myself or anyone else. And dare I say, neither have you. But you have been so jaded as to forfeit your freedom for “protection” by the Gummint from things that in responsible hands… are harmless!

    So Steve The Fearful, here’s what you need to do. Build a lead-lined, steel-reinforced concrete bunker with filtered air and water and live on nutrition pellets the rest of your life. Enjoy.


    Bong Hits Baby! Hope you had fun and stayed one step ahead of the State Secret Police!

  • Steve the Cynic

    Don’t be ridiculous, CF. Just about any idea, pushed to its extreme, results in an absurdity. F’rinstance, let’s push libertarianism to its absurd extreme. Suppose we abolished all traffic laws and allowed everyone to drive their cars however they saw fit. No “nanny state” making you pass a test to get a license, or telling you to drive under a certain speed or stop at red lights or or have working turn signals or drive on one side but not the other. Pretty soon, the roads would be so dangerous that no one could drive safely. Having too few rules would therefore result in less freedom for everyone. The key is balance. Reasonable people may disagree where the balance lies (e.g., whether firecrackers and bottle rockets should be legal; I actually think they should), but limits are necessary for the sake of the common good. Or would you want to argue that I should be able to celebrate the 4th of July by making and setting off a truck bomb like Timothy McVeigh’s?

    The trouble with you closed-minded ideologues is that you assume anyone who disagrees with you on one point must be a total extremist on the other side. Extremism is the problem.

  • CF

    Oh come on Steve, you mean to equate DOT Class-C consumer fireworks with a truck bomb?? Who is the extremist here? Seriously.

    As far as rules of conduct, yes there are appropriate laws for that. For instance, on the 4th of July I didn’t shoot off fireworks, (Gestapo Police not withstanding), at midnight out of respect for my neighbors. If I did, there are laws against disturbing the peace. Same as revving a motorcycle engine or loud music at 2 AM. BUT at the same time why can’t I light off fireworks at a reasonable time of day or night. Unless you’re the kind of asshole who calls the pigs whenever a loud Harley rides down your street.

    Your way of thinking goes back to the 1920’s and is as foolish and outdated as evolution. Get with it, get a clue.

  • Steve the Cynic

    You’re still being ridiculous, CF. I don’t know if you’re deliberately misconstruing what I’m saying, or if you’re just being dense. Of course I don’t think a truck bomb is the same as Class C fireworks. That’s precisely the point I was trying to make. Your inference that I’m arguing for a “nanny state” is just as silly as if I were to say your libertarian ideology entails allowing people to make huge fertilizer bombs for fun, or to drive on the wrong side of the street if they feel like it. Didn’t your education include anything about critical thinking? It’s not too late to learn, you know.