Independence Day; Celebrating Freedom in an Appropriate Way

5 07 2011

Individually Free

Yesterday was Independence Day here in the Land of the Free.

Across the country millions of people got together to celebrate freedom, to wear the stars and stripes, spend time with friends and relatives, drink too much, watch baseball and sit on the grass looking at  fireworks.

At least I assume that is what the majority of American citizens did.

Personally, I spent it at a parade in Hingham (Massachusetts) followed by walking the dog in an old military installation and then driving over an hour to see some fireworks in a field behind a school in Lincoln (also in Massachusetts). It was a long, party-centric day and I felt like a gate-crasher for most of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Patriots Day; Local Celebrations that Don’t Rely on Chocolate

18 04 2011

The British are coming!

Today is Patriots Day.

A day for Americans to remember the first battles of the Revolutionary War against the British in 1775. A celebration of the determination shown by patriots such as Paul Revere and the sacrifices made at Lexington and Concord to ensure that the “shot heard around the world” was not an isolated incident.

We all know what happened after that. The British lost the war, slunk home, made themselves a nice cup of tea, invented cricket, started the Industrial Revolution and built an Empire on the other side of the world.

But this relatively important day is only observed in Massachusetts and Maine as a civic holiday, with schools getting the day off in Wisconsin. Reenactments will be taking place, there will be several Revere-related events and thousands of lunatics will be running 26 miles in Boston for no apparent reason.

I can only assume that, as we are now entering into a plethora of observant days, today is just another Monday in the rest of the country. Read the rest of this entry »