Hey, look at me writing blog posts for major holidays. Like, something I never do. But this year I’m trying something new.

The fourth of July is a big event for us Americans. We spend the entire weekend traveling. We waste too much money on silly fire crackers. For many of us, it’s our time to showcase our grilling skills (not I, sadly.) For many Americans, this holiday is as important as Christmas.

Independence is a big word in a lot of ways. It has 5 vowels, 7 consonants, and 12 letters all together. The dictionary definition is “independence [in-di-pen-duh‚ÄČns] noun, the state or quality of being independent. Freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.”  The historical reference is the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in which, the Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire. That was 241 years ago, for you history buffs.

241 years is a long time. The average life span of an American is between 75 and 80 years old. There are a few generational gaps between then and now. What does “independence from the British Colonies” even mean to my generation? I mean, personally, England is a place I’d love to visit one day, I find their accents incredibly romantic, and I think the fact that England still has a royal family is fascinating (I’m a fantasy fiction writer, remember.) But as far as being independent from the British Empire, this information doesn’t hold a lot of value in my day-to-day life. I simply don’t have any experience other than my American independence to compare. So I eat Polish sausages, German potato salad, and drink French wine.

Isn’t that the wonder in the day and age we live? There are cultural influences all around us. Because of wars and allies, stationed military bases, and travel, we carry with us living pieces of history from all over the world – DNA. In my own family, there are Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, and, yep, Brits. We’re so accustomed to our heritage that we rarely put stock in it. It becomes a part of what we consider to be normal. This holiday we celebrate every year, it’s just normal. That business trip our dad takes to Ireland sometimes, that’s just normal. The news broadcasts we receive from all over the world, they’re totally normal.

So consider the normal in your lives this weekend. Say a quiet thank you to whatever ancestor or god you feel deserves it. Because we are really very blessed to live normal lives. I thank Jesus Christ for my independence. Who do you have to thank?

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

What’s normal – or maybe special – about your life? Share a favorite Independence Day memory, or unburden something tragic from past weekends which may be haunting you. Whatever the story, this is a safe place to tell it.

God bless you all this weekend.

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