This year, for the 4th, I’m planning to celebrate in ways that are Uniquely American.
Here we go!
1. THE HOT DOG!
What could be more uniquely American than the hot dog? Globs of mustard and relish dripping off onto your fingers. Grill marks searing in the flavor.
But you know what? The Frankenfurter (and the Wiener) are distinctively German innovations, from back in the 13th Century.
So…let’s try something else. How about…
There’s nothing that says “The 4th of July” like big booms and bright flashes. The kind that sizzle and cascade. The kind that expand and blossom. All the colors and the sounds of the holiday.
Of course, not only were those fireworks probably made in China, but fireworks, themselves, were ACTUALLY made…in China.
Fireworks date back to the 7th Century in China, where they were used to celebrate all kinds of festivals, long before July 4th was anything but just another day.
Hmm. That’s disconcerting. What about…
3. WAVING THE FLAG!
Even moderately patriotic people are known to fly the flag for the fourth! It may just be a piece of fabric, but it stands for a people, and an ideal.
Actually, people have been waving flags since the time of the Roman Legion, back in the time of antiquity. And Denmark has been flying its country’s flag from as far back as the 13th century, a powerful symbol for her people.
Well, this is getting hard.
Wait! I know!
4. ICE CREAM!
You want uniquely American? Here you go! Ice Cream is the official dessert of summer, right? Put a couple scoops on my cone and I’m a happy camper.
But wait! The Persians were making their version of ice cream as early as 400 B.C.!!!!
HEY! ISN’T THERE ANYTHING UNIQUELY AMERICAN WE CAN USE TO CELEBRATE THIS 4TH OF JULY?
WHAT ABOUT GOD?
We sing “God bless America”, or “God bless the U.S.A.” all the time. We talk about being in “God’s Country” or even this being “The Promised Land”.
Doesn’t that mean God is an American?
I say Yes.
But not uniquely.
As we celebrate this wonderful country of ours this week, let’s remember that God is the God of the Persians. And the Chinese. And the Danish. And the Germans. God’s Grace shines upon all of God’s children, and that’s perhaps the most important thing we could ever celebrate.
As for the 4th of July? I plan to eat my hotdog and my ice cream. I plan to set off some fireworks, and wave my flag.
I plan to celebrate everything and everyone that has gone into making our country so great.
Then I’ll ask God to bless us. All of us.
I’ll raise a toast to the world, my cup overflowing with Coca Cola, which is, I’m happy to say…
Have a great 4th!