Happy Fourth of July Eve!

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What, that is a thing, right? You know, the one with Saint Independence running around with a stars and stripes shield knocking on doors and asking for candy? I’m 60% sure that exists, but maybe that’s just a mash up of Christmas, Halloween and Captain America. And maybe Fourth of July Eve only exists for people who have too many fireworks to set off all in one night, or for the people who are stuck cooking for the gaggle of people all arriving tomorrow.

Regardless, this is the time of year when patriotism starts running wild and free (and causes various, firework-induced incidents). Wherever your Fourth of July Bucket List leads you (friends’ houses, BBQs, jail), there is one thing you should keep in mind above all else. While I love showcasing Independence Day pride in my American Flag toga as much as the next red, white and blue clad citizen, I think what’s most important on the Fourth of July is not what our country accomplished in the past, but what we should be looking to accomplish in the future. That is to say that the holiday is not just about socking it to the Brits (because let’s face it, they have OneDirection, so I don’t think they’re feeling too sorry for themselves), it’s about remembering that America stands for freedom, equality, independence, and love.

That’s something that I wish was in the forefront of everyone’s mind every day of the year, but it doesn’t hurt to get a little reminder. People are people, no matter where they come from, what they look like, or what they believe in. We don’t all have to agree with each other (it’s hard enough just trying to agree with myself—I argue for hours over which socks to put on in the morning), but a little bit of love and respect go a long way. Even the guy running around with the stars and stripes shield asking for candy today deserves some compassion, because he’s reminding us of an important lesson: While Christmas is all about presents, Halloween is all about candy, and Captain America is all about fighting off bad guys, Independence Day is all about love. So, ‘Merica, consider Fourth of July Eve your little warm up for tomorrow, and the rest of the year.

Related Articles:

Independence Is A Choice, And One Constantly Renewed

Freedom: Let That S*** Ring

God Bless the U.S.A.

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