“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”
— President Bill Clinton
This week, my friends, we will come together to celebrate as our nation turns another year older. She's past an AARP membership and begins to fall into the “older than dirt” category, which is just fine because, while we do defend her oceans, it’s her Earthly qualities that makes her what she is.
She’s such a beauty that even her spacious skies are praised, and even though in today’s society it’s not very politically correct to objectify the female form I must say that her purple mountains are majestic. She’s got 50 states and covers six times zones. She’s one third of North America and must be a fan of yoga, because her borders touch two oceans. She has five great lakes, a few Finger lakes and hundreds of just alright lakes. There are a few downright ghastly lakes. but no one ever swims there so there’s no reason to bring them up. (I’m looking at you Okeechobee)
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Now some will say we are a nation divided as of late, but truth be told we have always been of two minds. In the early days it was the North versus the South only to be replaced by anything on either side of the Mississippi. Once the industrial revolution began people categorized themselves as either "city" or "country" folks only to define themselves later as East Coast or West Coast once we were well into the 1990s.
We are a nation of exceptionalism, with some of the world’s richest people having started out as mere mortals in their home states. So great are our collective minds that we even kicked a few of our prized citizens off the planet just to say that an American was the first to step on the moon. And just to prove that we only did it for the bragging right, when we did get there what did we do? We played golf.
Since we are celebrating a birthday you’d expect there to be cake, but no, in America, we do things a little differently and go with apple pie. We don’t even blow out candle but instead we blow up the sky. All along the northern shores of Owasco Lake families will gather en masse to witness the rockets’ red glare and the bombs bursting in air as the traditional fireworks show kicks off.
Question: when did fireworks become so readily available? I remember growing up you couldn’t get firecrackers without knowing someone traveling to Pennsylvania, but now they’re sold at convenience stores to people I wouldn’t trust with a sparkler let alone anything called an M-80. Fun fact: America uses up 30,000 tons of fireworks each year with most being set off on Thursday night between 9 and 10 p.m. So happy birthday, America, you might not be new, but you’ll always be home.