On my team at work I have several international-students. Of the four of them, not a single one of them has been in the United States for a 4th of July celebration. Explaining to them the level of dangerous recklessness they are about to witness was highly entertaining, as they could not believe that even rough and rowdy Americans could be so stupid.
*sound of fireworks popping for the pre-fourth activities*
American Employee: “Oh yes, it’s time for the annual game: “is that fireworks or gun shots?”
International Employee: “Guns?!”
American: “Yep. Guns. People like to fire them off on the 4th.”
International: “Is that legal?”
American: “Well, technically it’s not legal to shoot them off in city limits, but people do it anyway.”
International: “Isn’t that dangerous?”
American: “Yeah, but so are fireworks, but people will be setting them off pretty much every day this month.”
International: “Every day?”
American: “Yeah. Technically they are only supposed to 2 days before and the day after the 4th and 24th– but we Americans like to blow things up.”
That conversation aside: How did I celebrate Independence Day? The answer is, the same way I always do.
I watched a documentary about the American Revolution, lamenting about misinterpreted or misrepresented facts because I am a nerd. Then, like most American citizens, I use the 4th of July as an excuse to BBQ, light a bonfire, and watch idiots explode things. Is the lighting of fires and explosive within city limits smart? No, especially not in the middle of a desert, but that doesn’t stop us. We are American- the nation of over-prideful, overzealous pyromaniacs who excel at mayhem and rowdiness.