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Opinion: A unique American holiday

Tami Jo Nix/The Madera Tribune

Snoopy is all decked out for the July 4th holiday. Happy Independence Day!


Next week the USA will celebrate a uniquely American holiday known as Independence Day. Held annually on July 4th it is a federal holiday with banks, courts, government offices and schools closed for the day.

This represents the day our forefathers told wacky King George the 3rd the colonies in the new world would no longer pledge alliance to Mother England. Generations of children have studied this document. I can assume only that the story of how John Hancock signed extra-large and with a flourish. Supposedly he said at the time he wanted the king to be able to read his signature without his spectacles.

Now 243 years later, we celebrate this annual celebration by blowing things up with fireworks, cooking food over an open flame and decorating anything that will stand still in red, white and blue.

To me, July 4 represents the third summer patriotic holiday. It begins with Memorial Day with memories of the men and women who gave their last full measure of devotion in defense of our way of life. That is followed by Flag Day on June 14. President Donald Trump’s birthday is on Flag Day.

The people who wish he would resign his office can’t be happy that the man they criticize and who won’t be pushed around by either house of Congress celebrates his birthday on Flag Day.

I could at this point spout a bunch of anti-Congress rhetoric. How the country is run by a bunch of people who enjoy a minimum salary of $174,000 and too many perks to list. How there are no term limits on how long these individuals can serve and the only recourse is at the ballot box. I want to put a pin in this discussion and come back to it another time.

The fireworks on the 4th need to be deemed safe and sane by fire marshals and must be lit to burn on the ground, in California. I am rather surprised fireworks are allowed at all in a state that last year had so many wildfires.

If you intend to light fireworks to commemorate this holiday, please be careful. Have a bucket of water standing by to dunk the dead fireworks, and a hose nearby in case a bucket of water isn’t enough.

Since this is my first Independence Day in this neighborhood, I have no idea if the residents on my street participate in the ritual of fire. What I normally do is wander around watching the neighbors light their fireworks. I usually buy a finally worthy big firework and have one of my neighbors light it. It is a good way to meet the neighbors.

On July 5th the animal shelter is heavily populated with pets that have been traumatized by the loud noises of fireworks.

They will climb fences and wiggle out of supposedly secure yards. Seriously consider bringing your fur babies inside for the night or arrange for some pet tranquilizers to help calm them. Visit the animal shelter if a pet is lost. A recent photo will help identify your furry friend.

Enjoy the holiday. Long days and pleasant nights, have a great weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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