Happy 4th of July! I love any holiday that involves a barbecue! There’s nothing more comforting than relaxing by the pool as a delicious waft of perfectly grilled hamburgers floats beneath your nose, filling your heart with a sense of nostalgia from past family barbecues… This happened to me over the weekend & unfortunately, the barbecue was on the other side of the fence, next to the pool! But that’s okay. I made up for it by making freshly-ground steak burgers with bacon & cheddar cheese mixed in! Um..to die for! But let’s not forget why we’re celebrating. Yes, that’s right! I’m switching over to teacher mode! Freedom Defined: The day on which the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1776; Independence Day.
I won’t lecture, like I did for Memorial Day, about the importance of remembering why we’re celebrating… What? I’m not that much of an ogre! Plus, I think this holiday is a little more easily translated as to why we celebrate. So, I thought I’d discuss another freedom that is often overlooked. This article was actually inspired by a high school friend’s post on Facebook that I read, earlier today.
JUNETEENTH INDEPENDENCE DAY, June 19th, 1865, is the actual day of the emancipation of African-American slaves in Texas & throughout the Confederate South. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth and is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states. The national holiday for Juneteenth titled, National Freedom Day, is observed on February 1st, the actual day back in 1865 that President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment, officially abolishing slavery.
Don’t be so proud of Mr. Lincoln as I formerly had been. Don’t get me wrong, he was a fine president and made the right decision, but his reason for signing one of the most important amendments in American history was not out of mere obvious intelligence, as it was more for political reasons. Read about that here. Also, here is a great fiction read with the twist of this truth for those of you that like that kind of fiction, the kind I enjoy reading and writing: The Lincoln Myth, by Steve Berry.
Juneteenth Independence Day did not come about because of our American independence, but it is directly related to freedom & a MOST IMPORTANT ONE, if I might add. Unfortunately, slavery is a part of our history and should be forgotten. Many would and will argue with me, but this is my blog AND my opinion… So, what I mean by forgetting our history of slavery is that if at some point, we don’t stop fueling the hate over the biggest injustice America has done to its own people, that hatred will never go away and we’ll never be able to achieve true equality & peace among people of varying ethnicities. Ethnicity should be embraced & celebrated, not hated and with righteous holidays forever stoking the fires, it never will be.
I fully understand that when we “forget history” we’re “doomed to repeat it,” but really think about that saying. Feel free to disagree with me, but, is it really feasible in our country today, that we would ever make such an ignorant, inhumane mistake like slavery all over again? Stop rolling your eyes. I really don’t think so and more importantly, I hope not!
Take the time during this holiday, today, to embrace the day of our independence as a nation as a whole and celebrate our freedom for one and ALL. Let’s not make this a day of ambiguity among our ethnicity. Try and remember that we are all human beings that deserve equality. It may sound like a simple statement, but I long for the day when we can look among our country and see people, not races, or sexual preferences or religions, just we, the people, united. ENJOY THE BARBECUE!
If you'd like to hold a friendly discussion in the comments, I'm all for it. But if you're there merely to berate, belittle or harangue me, and not add anything important or intelligent, I will not reply.