Independence Day

Happy Independence Day in the good ol’ USA! Yes, this holiday occurs on July 4, but the greeting for the holiday is not “happy fourth.” That’s just as silly as saying “happy fifth” tomorrow, especially when the Declaration of Independence did not obtain its final signature until August 2!

Today will find me doing what I usually do on this holiday — swearing and crabbing.

Yep, I will be attending a swearing-in ceremony of new United States citizens at our state capital, Annapolis. I have worked with two very hard-working men, one from Honduras and one from Guatemala, who for the past nine years have studied to become naturalized U.S. citizens. I have taught them civics and coached them through the arduous process to become a citizen of my home country. I will be at their citizenship ceremony this morning to wave the flag, cheer, and celebrate.

After that, I will enjoy my first-of-the-summer Maryland crab feast with family and close friends. This is another tradition I enjoy every year.

Tonight, my partner and I will curl up on the sofa and listen to the concert and watch the fireworks in Washington, DC, on television. While I had been there in person many years, they ruined it with all of the added security since 2001, so I have not returned since then. Plus, we are experiencing another heat wave, along with high humidity. Blechh… I would rather be in air-conditioned comfort of home rather than among hundreds of thousands of sweaty, smelly people in 98F (37C) heat.

Let’s hope storms hold off and I can ride the Harley to Annapolis and to the crab feast — classic transport on America’s 236th day of celebration in declaring independence from Great Britain in 1776. Traditionally, we call this “America’s birthday,” though technically the United States wasn’t “born” until many years later when its constitution was ratified after winning a nasty little war with the Brits to secure our independence.

Life is short: love your country and celebrate!