What the 4th of July and American Flag Mean to Me
Fourth of July Brennen Murphy ECPI University Fourth of July The fourth of July also known as “Independence Day” is an American holiday that is celebrated every year it is the day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted. The fourth of July is a known holiday but to many not knowing what the symbols of a typical tradition of the Forth of July is is about. For instance, the day of the fourth of July, the fireworks, or the flag being flown at every corner of your eye.
Many families celebrate the forth of July with different cultures in the united states from barbecuing, parades, pool parties, or spending as much time throughout the day to meet as many accomplishments of the fourth that their families can do in a twenty four hour period. So what does the fireworks mean? Some people possibly believe it is the “Bombs bursting in air” as stated in The Star-Spangled Banner. However, according to Olivia B. Waxman of Time (2017), fireworks were actual fireworks from the beginning of Independence Day.
In the beginning, there were actual cannons and firearms going off at the same time as the fireworks. In 1903, for the public’s safety, the firearms and cannons were phased out and replaced by just fireworks (Miller, 1913). Even though gunpowder was not new to civilization, it was used for New Years for celebration. John Adams once said “he hoped the anniversary of Independence would be marked for years to come by guns, bonfires, and illuminations”. Still to this day we celebrate it. Alan Rohlfing, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army now retired, had the question asked from militaryconnection. com (2018) of what the fourth of July meant to him and he stated:
To me, Independence Day all about honoring sacrifice. The sacrifice of so many that served before me, in so many conflicts. The sacrifice our families make serving at home while their loved ones are deployed. The premature sacrifices of those who’ve paid the ultimate price and the sacrifice of the Gold Star Families they leave behind. In honoring the sacrifice, I feel an incredible sense of gratitude for having been able to serve my country and state, and that gratitude resonates deep within me every time I see the flag of these United States and hear our National Anthem.
Why is the flag everywhere around and on the fourth of July? To understand exactly why the American flag is flown literally everywhere across the United States, from small home towns to large metropolitan areas as well as front lawns to businesses windows. By breaking down what the flag color by color, line by line, start for start the flag has many meanings just to itself. According to Kim Lengling from USMilitary. com the first thing you can count is that the American flag as thirteen horizontal stripes. Seven being red and the other six are white. The thirteen stripes in total represent the original thirteen colonies where this country was founded.
However, the color red represents “Hardiness and Valor” and the white is “Purity and Innocence”. Along with thirteen stripes there are also fifty white stars that are placed on top of a blue background. Which the stars represent the fifty states of the Union, the blue color backdrop behind the stars represents “Vigilance, Perseverance, and Justice”. Kim Lengling also asked multiple individuals from different US military branches what the flag meant to them. Mind you, the US military makes up a vast cultural diversity. According to “Demographics of the U. S. Military (2019), “The armed forces, which have a strict age limits, are younger than the civilian population, the number differ significantly by service”. Essentially, the population of what makes up the U. S military is spread wide between age groups and their cultural background as they come from all over the nation. The following is what the our brave men and woman of the armed forces have to say about what the flag means to them: Army Veteran – A Way of Life that many will never experience, and too many forget how precious it is. Army Veteran ?
Our flag is the symbol of the things we as Americans hold in our hearts and minds. The power to guard and protect loved ones, homes, beliefs, and Americans in general; deserving or not. The Stars and Stripes mean this is the United States of America, WE ARE! Having the privilege to serve this country in the US Army gave me the opportunity to show the love I have for this country, and the pride we have in defending it. Army Veteran ? The best way I can describe what the flag means to me is to have every American close their eyes and really listen to Lee Greenwood?s song God Bless the USA. Navy Veteran – Because I know of veterans who sacrificed it all, I believe in the American Flag. However, I do fight the bad decisions that others may make that affects our men and women in uniform wearing the American flag. Like we walk in our faith, we must remain vigilant in honoring what America stands for or once stood for… we still have freedom of religion and not Sharia like laws. Marine ? The American flag represents what I spent four years of my life doing, which is protecting that flag and our way of life. It means home to me; so, protecting our flag means protecting my home. Tertiary, speaking about different cultures.
The American people spend the Fourth of July doing different culture events. Some families spend the day doing a barbecue with their family cooking hot dogs and hamburgers with chips and watermelon. Talking about old times just to relive or to remember their past history and possibly carry on the traditions of others before them that are no longer on this earth. Possibly having anything and everything Red, White and Blue. Others go to parades and watch the line of police, firefighters, rescue squad with the sirens wailing the whole time all while driving one mile per hour. During the parades it is not uncommon to even see scary clowns drive their tiny cars down the street throwing candy to the children as the children are screaming at the top of their lungs to get the attention of anyone to get the candy.
All while some families stick to their yearly tradition of “Hang an American flag together” (ifamilykc. com, 2019). Or even go to a pool or water park and spend the day. Every family is different in the own way and celebrates the family culture in a unique way of its own. Forever passing it on to the next generation of its roots. Some families will even go out their way to do all of these events together in order to get the most out of the day of celebration with their family because that is just what they do every year because of their past family culture.
In conclusion, the fourth of July has a lot of culture events just within itself. Having families all over the United States celebrating one holiday on the same day yet in so different ways to express the love of the freedom on the our country is quite astounding. Even from the examples from our armed forces what the meaning of what the flag means to them was different for each individual and each branch as well as different responses from within the same branch all because of the culture they grew up with.
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