It's become a family tradition.
Each year, we head to Old Navy and buy T-shirts symbolizing the Fourth of July.
Each year, there's a different color and a logo of the with the year listed on it.
Time is ticking away on this tradition, days away actually, and we have yet to get our T-shirts for this year. That would be a shame too since I have T-shirts like this dating back more than a decade.
So another is upon us and it doesn't really have the same old ring to it. Things just don't seem that patriotic.
I'm not sure why. Yet maybe I really do know why.
People take their freedom for granted.
It's evident in most of our communities these days. The Fourth represents a day off from work and a great chance to go shopping and grab all of those store bargains.
You don't see many flags hung up with pride outside of homes. There's no big push to honor our military.
Nope, the day is spent having a barbecue, lounging on the couch watching a baseball game or hitting the beach or the pool.
Does anyone really participate in a holiday parade? Fat chance when you can sleep in.
Yes, this is the Fourth of July circa 2012, a holiday with the significance it should have.
Long gone are the days of the American Revolution when George Washington was fighting for our freedom while the Continental Congress was rebelling against the King and England.
is no Continental Congress. The Board of Supervisors has canceled the next day's meeting because it won't have a quorum. The members are all celebrating summer vacations. Hey, that's the township's right as a free governing body.
You don't even see many municipalities conducting any Fourth of July events. Where's the memorial dedication? And, most important, how come are no longer a Fourth of July staple?
It's because towns have saved the "Ooohs" and "Aaaahs" for their own community celebrations throughout the summer.
The cost of our freedom was a high price that many people paid with their lives. That's the ultimate sacrifice.
And through the Civil War, the world wars, the Vietnam War and the War on Terrorism, we as a nation continue to be free.
Osama bin Laden may have caused us great pain, but he didn't take away our right to be free.
And maybe that's what the holiday is really about: the right for each and every one of us to celebrate our freedom the best way that we want. Heck, we've earned it.
So enjoy that shopping trip, a barbecue or some pool time. We're all free to live our lives how we want.
Happy Fourth of July!