The 4th of July, or Independence Day, is one of several patriotic holidays celebrated in the United States. The third Saturday in May is Armed Forces Day, the last Monday in May is Memorial Day, and November 11 is Veterans Day. Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence, which was ratified by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
According to Wikipedia, this holiday “is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches, and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.”
Whether the day is patriotically symbolic to you or simply a day off from work, below are four suggestions on how to enjoy the day.
One simple but meaningful way to commemorate Independence Day is to display an American Flag. (Proper etiquette may be found here.) Other ways to show your patriotism could be to read a historic poem, song, or speech like “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” by Julia Ward Howe. Additionally, you could show your patriotism by visiting a national park or historic landmark.
On a lighter, more local level, check out your area’s 4th of July celebrations. Many offer symphonic concerts with fireworks shows, parades, or other events that are free and easily accessed within your community. If your town has minor league sports teams, many offer fireworks shows at the stadium after a weekend game as well as other patriotic-themed promotions. If something a little closer to home is more your speed, plan a neighborhood potluck or a family backyard barbeque.
Not all celebrations have to involve noise and crowds. Perhaps staying close to home and upping your craft game is your preferred way to mark this holiday. Consider putting together red, white, and blue floral arrangements, making a festive sweet treat with a stars and stripes theme, or delve into some DIY banners, wreaths, or luminaries. There is a nearly endless supply of good ideas for patriotic crafts on Pinterest.
Finally, if you are seeking a way to celebrate Independence Day a little differently, by serving others there are a variety of ways to do so. According to Noble Hour, you could send a letter of appreciation to troops, first responders, or veterans through Operation Gratitude. Or you can send a care kit with necessities, entertainment, and non-perishable treats like cookies or brownies. The United States Postal Service offers a free Military Care Kit that includes everything you need to send a package overseas.
Locally, you could find a military family or veteran with whom to check-in. Or check with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to see if there are any volunteer opportunities to help veterans in the area who could use a ride to and from a doctor’s appointment or by making a charitable contribution.