Don't be ashamed of your patriotism
That is, as long as your definition of patriotism includes a respect for truth
Fireworks celebrate the annual festival of patriotism in America, Independence Day. (Photo by Jared Berg on Unsplash)
We can thank John Adams for the fireworks this time of the year. On July 3, 1776, fresh from the vote approving the Declaration of Independence, he wrote that what he called the “Day of Deliverance” should thereafter be celebrated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations” around the land.
On the following 4th of July, to commemorate the date the Declaration was inscribed, there were indeed some great “shews,” including fireworks and shells exploding over the Boston Common, and ships on the Delaware River at Philadelphia, firing their cannons 13 times, once for each colony. A patriotic ritual was born. 1
When it comes to American patriotism, though, the rockets’ red glare often yields bombast bursting in air. The 4th of July is a great opportunity to hear some predictable puffed-chest patriotic palaver from unimaginative poli…