America. This is July 4th, the day we celebrate our independence: our nation’s birthday. What does that mean? Who cares.

Really, does it matter why you celebrate or what you celebrate about this country? I would say no. As much as I’m all for celebrating our independence, celebrating the men and women who came before us: our founding fathers, as much as I am a patriotic person and proud to be an American, I would still say that it doesn’t really matter why you celebrate the Fourth of July. Why is that? Primarily, because of this one thing: to celebrate July 4th is to be an American citizen who recognizes that on this day we became free. Today is a memorial day. You can’t celebrate the Fourth of July in any other country for the same reason.

One of my favorite trick questions to ask people is “do they have a Fourth of July in England?”. 90% of the time everyone says “no”. The trick part of the question is that they have a 4th of July in every country, they just don’t celebrate it; so yes, England does have a 4th of July. The difference between July 4th in any other country and July 4th in America is that it doesn’t mean anything to anyone anywhere else. That makes this day special regardless of what you think of when you celebrate the Fourth of July, regardless of if you even know what men and women had to go through to establish freedom in this country.

More than anything, the Fourth of July stands for liberty from tyrants, and America has always been about that. The separatists, the pilgrims that first founded this great nation did so because they had fled tyrannical rule in England that infringed upon their religious liberty. The colonials, the first Americans who sought to separate themselves from England did so to escape tyrannical rule that oppressed their moral liberty; in the English hierarchy all men were not created equal.

This country stands for liberty, but will this be the last Fourth of July that we can truly celebrate independence and freedom. Not independence or freedom; not independence as well as freedom, but independence along with freedom. There’s a narrow line in which few have ever been that presents the correct relationship between independence and freedom.

Independence is a separated state of being that allows one to be totally dependent upon themselves.
Freedom is the ability to live however you want to live, without a government, without a religion, without anyone or anything telling you different.

When the nation is independent, the nation is free; but often when the people are independent the people are not free. If everyone is left to live their own life and do their own thing, without fail they will attempt to infringe upon, and destroy the freedoms of others: it’s human nature. Celebrate this day while you can. Celebrate America just because it is America, never mind your reason, celebrate America however you want for whatever reason you wish on this day, and do so in freedom.

Now for the kicker: if you are living in America or perhaps are even an American citizen, and I won’t discriminate, even up to the president himself, if you live under our sky, and our laws, and on our land, you will respect our flag, and our independence. If you can’t respect our country and our flag, then you can go live somewhere else.

Happy 4th everyone. God bless America!

As always, thanks for reading.

–the anonymous novelist

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