Last weekend was the most American weekend of all: Friday July 4th marked Independence Day, a celebration of breaking up with the British and getting your own shiny country. Of course, breaking up takes a long and nasty time, but picking a random date within a broader time frame helps focus the festivities, just like Christmas. As with every other holiday, I will be reviewing Independence Day by answering four questions.
Does it live up to the image portrayed in pop culture?
Yes. Apart from the formerly mentioned movie, most of my expectations were met, if not exceeded. There were crowds watching fireworks, I’ve heard the national anthem every so often, and (the exceeding of expectations) the singing of Amazing Grace at a pop concert; I came to understand The Band Perry did not write it themselves, though. There was less thanking the troops than I expected, but our church anticipated this and celebrated ‘Armed Forces Appreciation Sunday’ in the same weekend (a term I still struggle with, as there seems to be no day in the year where armed forces are not appreciated in the US). Also, I didn’t hear Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ once. But the rest of the weekend was filled with Stars and Stripes, American beer, and patriotism on steroids.
How is the food?
We had barbecue after swimming in the pool, which is never a bad thing. Furthermore, I drank a red-white-and-blue shot, and mini cheesecakes that were laid out to represent the Stars and Stripes.
Not really. I have to admit that my typical immigrant weekend was further complicated by the Netherlands-Costa Rica match on Saturday afternoon. My hair was orange when I arrived at our July 4th party, and so my Dutchness was celebrated at least as much as the fact that I, too, was now free of British oppression. My blended patriotism evidently caused one of the fireworks to go after me while I was shooting off my own, but my safety glasses and cat-like reflexes did their job perfectly.
Would you do it again?
Yes. Even if I had a choice. There is something infinitely fascinating about a day of patriotism in the US (it is USA appreciation day every day of the year), and the atmosphere is very good. Also, I love me a good fireworks show.
What’s the verdict?
If you can appreciate the miracle of Americans getting more patriotic, July 4th is absolutely amazing, not in the least because of the neat fireworks. In the end, there’s only one verdict possible: fifty stars.