By Ella Corcoran
July Fourth: Historically a Day of Celebration, But What Exactly Are We Celebrating?
July fourth is historically one of America’s most nationalistic holidays -- people look forward to the leisure of family get-togethers, singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and most famously, the various annual firework shows across the country. But of course, this political climate is now something that, to many, does not feel this country should only be celebrated. By recognizing this, it is important to balance political action and self-care. Today, many recent events have the potential to be emotionally jarring or tolling. Therefore, finding a balance between social progress and maintaining mindful habits should be taken into account for each individual.
July 4th, also known as Independence Day or The 4th, is considered to be a day where Americans celebrate historical success in gaining independence and detachment from Great Britain’s Monarchy. This victory has been celebrated for decades both before and after it was classified as a Federal Holiday, in 1941.
Before it was established as such, there were many forms of celebration dating back to the 18th century and Revolutionary War. Starting in the summer of 1776, colonists performed “mock-funerals” for King George III. This was both a form of resistance and a celebration of their independence from the kings ruling and oppressive court. In today’s context, celebrating arguably consists of a less bleak approach, such as family, gatherings, barbeques, and of course fireworks. In today’s political climate, it is important to reconcile with family, friends, and anyone who you look to for encouragement and support. It may be helpful to allow yourself to celebrate however you so chose on the upcoming holiday. Striking a balance between wellness and social action is possible and can be done effectively.
Because of recent events, such as the zero-tolerance policy, travel-ban, and the ongoing fight against police brutality, it is important to recognize coming together with your local community can be healing, effective, and perhaps even needed. These recent events are both frustrating as well as taxing. Perhaps, try and use this holiday as a day where you can renew your mental and emotional health. To some this may mean going out and participating in protests, reaching out to loved ones, or donating to organizations that need support (such as: “Americans For Immigrant Justice”, “Southern Poverty Law”, and “Planned Parenthood.”)