Independence Day 4th of July celebrations are prominent across the USA this long weekend. Those people who benefit from having this holiday from work are likely most appreciative. The extra day off work is reason enough to celebrate but patriotism prevails in the thoughts of many individuals.
These are difficult times for our nation. Our military troops are dying every day in the longest war in which we've ever been engaged. The financial condition of our country is arguably in a questionable state. Too many men and women are unable to be gainfully employed so are without income. Environmental concerns unlike any we've ever faced before assault significant portions of our shoreline and remain unresolved. Our national congressional representatives and senators continue locked in ideological battles with far too many unwilling to explore compromises necessary for issue resolution. (This is also true in some States, including my own, California where they can't even pass a viable budget.)
Celebrations such as Independence Day can give us hope, reason to renew our efforts and motivate us to contribute to the excitements of innovative new technologies. We see promises for tomorrow to give our children, grandchildren and generations to come by persevering to insure the freedoms vital to our nation's survival. Perhaps thoughts of our historical strength, past ability to overcome adversity will remind all who need reminding we can and must preserve this noble nation as our founders intended.
A number of cities proudly present a parade. Occurring on Sunday, July 4th at 11:45 a.m. in a most significant monument-surrounded setting is the National Independence Day Parade which travels down Constitution Ave. (click on link) in Washington, D.C. Invited bands, military units, floats, and special guests including costumed 1776 reenactors participate. This parade sponsored by the National Park Service features representatives from across our country, fife and drum corps, balloons, celebrities and national dignitaries. A street audience of hundreds of thousands of spectators will be present.
Driving through my small town community I see a number of residents homes decorated with a variety of patriotic red, white and blue banners, flags and other symbols honoring our nation's birthday. A city-wide judged contest has provided incentive for creative talents to devise visually attractive features that convey national pride. Similar events likely occur in towns and cities across our country on any one of this weekend's days.
I note in those cities mentioned below an Ohio parade is Saturday, a California parade is Sunday, and our nation's oldest parade in Rhode Island is Monday. Advance flight planning might make it possible to attend each of these 2010 July 4th Independence Day Parades.
"Star Spangled Claremont" is the theme of Sunday, July 4th's annual celebratory event in my hometown. The parade begins at 4 p.m. in the afternoon, ending with a fireworks display at a nearby park in the evening. Many years ago my young children participated in the parade's decorated bike brigade. Here's a video of an earlier year's parade.
The oldest continuous parade held since 1785 is in Bristol, Rhode Island. Costumes, old firetrucks, creatively designed hats and much more are featured in this recent year's video. The 2010 parade is Monday, July 5th with a theme, "The Star Spangled Experience."
Upper Arlington, a suburb north of Ohio's Columbus capitol, has had a parade since the mid 1920s. The 2010 parade is Saturday, July 3rd with a theme, "Buckeye Fourth of July." Local citizens continue to justifiably pride themselves in this patriotic activity, just as I recall from when I lived in the area. Parade participants include a variety of bands, floats, drill teams, horses, unusual animal pets, a bike brigade, old cars, unique vehicles, jet planes and more in this parade video from an earlier year.
Some excellent television and Internet coverage is also available of many parades, concerts and festivities.
Enjoy Independence Day wherever you live, whatever the day of celebration.