Why the 4th of July

July 4, 2009 at 4:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I know its still July 3rd, but I was at work today, and one of my co-workers asked me, “Why are you guys so crazy about celebrating the 4th of July?”

I almost choked when he said that.  He is an American-born Mexican, 62 years old.  And he still doesn’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July with such enthusiasm.  What I said was,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.


I almost kept going, but I noticed his cock-eyed look at me.  And I couldn’t believe this man who had been educated in the US and grown up celebrating the 4th of July for the last 62 years did not know what it was truly about.  “You mean it’s not just to try and out do your neighbor with fireworks?”    And he was serious.  I told him we are celebrating our Independence, what I just quoted was the first part of the Declaration of Independence.  We talked about it and I helped him to understand it better, and he actually thanked me; I was a proud American at that point.

I decided to ask my kids what we are celebrating on the 4th of July, and they told me ‘fireworks’ and my 10 year old said ‘parties.’  I was kind of disappointed, then I realized their teachers and most of their classmates are of hispanic heritage, so my disappointment turned to slight anger.  I decided to teach them what it was really about.  I doubt they’ll reflect on our discussion about how our nation was born under these great founders whose love of their people and their land drove them to become independent; but I guarantee that when it comes time to learn about it for real, they’ll remember our discussion and have a better idea than their peers of Independence Day.



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  1. Did you ask your co-worker why he celebrates Cinco de Mayo?

    • He doesn’t celebrate it, I asked him about if he was in May and he said it’s the celebration of winning a stupid war.

      • WOW! A Mexican that does not support Cinco de Mayo? I am in shock.

      • I’m not, he’s more American than mexican, just seems to have the wrong ideas about some things. Good guy, just kinda bothered that he’s been to American schools his whole life and was seriously confused about Independence day.

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