By Craig Gilman
Faculty Member at American Military University
What kind of images does the fourth of July conjure up for you? Parades, BBQ and fireworks are probably the first. Spending time with family, friends and community more than likely is a close second. For those who have been around the block more than once, history and heritage and the realization that as Americans we are fortunate in our freedom and liberties is another thought that comes to mind for the holiday. The latter is a wisdom that needs to be shared and taught to our younger generations. Let’s start with a little basic history.
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall), approved the Declaration of Independence, severing the colonies’ ties to the British Crown. Independent America was born, but no one expected to sleep through those first nights.
Make July 4th memorable in 2015. Share this heritage and make it fun and meaningful for following generations. There are a number of ways Americans traditionally celebrate Independence Day. First and foremost, take the time to reflect, not only on the value of our independence and freedoms, but also the civic responsibilities and duties that go with them. Other ways to celebrate include:
- Properly and proudly display a United States flag
- Re-familiarize yourself with the Declaration of Independence
- Dress up patriotically in red, white and blue
- Make a patriotic craft with your children and discuss freedoms and responsibilities
- Show your community support by attending a local parade or fireworks display
For more on the history, and ideas for celebrating the 4th visit our fellow APUS blog, InMilitaryEducation.com.