Celebrate America’s BirthdayJuly 2, 2014
July 4th—it’s not just another picnic.In a humid, stuffy room in the Pennsylvania State House over 300 years ago, a group of men in wigs and suits met to finalize changes to a special document that declared separation from England. It talked about individual freedoms. But that meeting itself didn’t include much pomp and celebration. It was pretty solemn—this could mean charges of treason, loss of property, suffering and death. Later that day, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that the day “will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival.” He told her that the celebration, in years to come, should include “pomp and parade…games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.” Later that summer, the first Independence Day celebrations sprang up. They included mock funerals of King George, bonfires, parades, firing of cannons and muskets, and public readings of the document.
How do you celebrate July 4th?Here’s a celebration I’ll never forget. I was invited to Roberto’s Fourth of July picnic 20 years ago. His family had fled to the United States during the Cuban regime. They had two roasted pigs, 35 dishes of delicious food that was home made, and an endless supply of fireworks. Aside from the food and the lights, they talked about how proud they were to be Americans. I realized it was more than just a picnic for them. It was a special celebration of a new start. For Amy, celebrations of July 4th are particularly important this year. As a young mom with a husband who was recently deployed, the sense of family and community support during the celebration will help her stay positive at a time she feels both proud and scared. Monique Truong, novelist, and a daughter of war refugees from Vietnam knows that her parents risked their lives to get to America. “I, like them, became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1980… but I contend that I became an American when I looked around me and saw the promise of more.” Her celebration involves that promise. “Today is extraordinary” says a man who fled Sri Lanka in 1983 when fighting destroyed his village. He’s celebrating his new citizenship and the rights he is now guaranteed because of that. July 4th is the day to celebrate a new birth for his family in a new country—a very special day. For many of us, it’s been so many generations that we’ve forgotten why our family first came to America. Take a bit of time to discover what first brought your clan here and reflect on what your freedoms mean to you now.
Consider lights to make it specialAs you consider how you’ll make the July 4th celebration special, consider lights! Recall John Adams words to his wife about “celebrating with illuminations from one end of the continent to the other.” How about illuminations from one end of the yard to the other? Whether you’re honoring a family member or friend in the military, having a 4th of July Cook-Out to celebrate your citizenship, or just want your yard to offer cheers for our USA freedoms, patriotic LEDs are a great way transform an ordinary picnic into a special celebration. A variety of products are available in Red, White, and Blue, to fit any style of party you’re throwing and any type of patriotic illumination you desire:
- LED Light Spheres are great for hanging in trees, or above patio/deck spaces.
- LED Tube Lights will add an eye-catching flair that everybody at your party. Hang them in trees, along your roof line, or create your own firework starburst.
- Larger Patio Bulbs—a new line of E26 Socket Stringers and Patio Bulbs. Drop Sockets, and 24” bulb spacing, make these perfect for patio, deck, or party lighting.
- LED Socket Stringers are also available to create custom color combinations with Red, White, or Blue LED Retrofit Replacement bulbs.