I usually offer a few random thoughts on this holiday; some of them may be reruns, but I think they've held up pretty well since a year ago:
- On this day, I'm decked out in one of those Old Navy flag T-shirts, as I have been every year on this day since 1999, when I celebrated in Switzerland atop Rochers-de-Naye, the tallest mountain in the Montreux area. (I still get a kick out of thinking about all the schoolkids back in '99 who, when they found out I was spending my first Fourth out of the country that summer, asked me if "they have the Fourth of July in Switzerland." Their calendars, I'm happy to report, don't exactly skip from 3 to 5 or anything...)
- While it might seem appropriate to have the Fourth fall on a Monday (like pretty much every other holiday), the day when local cities decide to do their fireworks displays still varies wildly from place to place. Many places (including Rowlett just down the street from me, as well as Addison's well-known "Kaboom Town") were last night, while a lot of other places, including Richardson and Plano, are waiting until tonight. Just wait till next year, when, thanks to a leap year, the Fourth will be on a Wednesday. Five-day weekend, anyone?
- I usually post links to some inspiring essays on this day. This year, I've found some reflections on liberty by Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds, a fine essay by blogger "Teresa in Ft. Worth" (including embedded videos of many of our great patriotic songs), and another great piece of writing by the Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby on the philosophies behind the Declaration of Independence.
- Two years ago, I noted that there are a lot of people out there today who love their country but are extremely frustrated with their government. As we celebrate 234 years as a nation, we must never forget the principles of freedom and limited government on which this nation was founded. There are plenty of people in power at the moment who would prefer to use that power to their own ends, rather than what is best for the nation as a whole, and it is up to us as citizens to speak out against such things and show the most grievous offenders the door via the ballot box at the next available occasion.