Happy 4th of July!

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”  ~Elmer Davis

july 4thAs Americans, we celebrate Independence Day on July 4th to honor our nation’s birthday.  It is day replete with parades, cookouts, picnics, flag waving, fireworks, and a heavy dose of patriotism.

JULY 4, 1776:  The Second Continental Congress completed its work on the Declaration of   Independence.

JULY 4, 1941:  Independence Day was first celebrated as a federal legal holiday.

“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”.  ~William Faulkner

Did you know that there is a one-gun salute fired at noon on July 4th on every capable military base?  It is called the Salute to the Union.

IT’S A GRAND OLD FLAGand there are specific rules about displaying it proudly and properly. Click here to brush up on how to honor Old Glory.

FABULOUS FOODHaving a cookout or picnic with friends and family?   Think about foods that come in patriotic colors–white snow cone cups filled with red and blue berries, e.g.  Be sure to offer hot dogs, hamburgers, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, and watermelon for an all-American meal.  Maybe even Mom’s apple pie to top it off!  Food Network stars share many delicious recipes for this holiday, and the web even offers a video of grilling safety tips.  For updated and healthy food choices, visit Health.com

Having a holiday gathering?  Better Homes and Gardens has many websites to help you with food, decorations, and crafts for the kids.  Click here for trivia questions such as” How many verses does the Star Spangled Banner have?” to challenge your guests.

fireworks 3Spread the word—and patriotism123Greetings.com offers a good selection of holiday-themed cards to send to family and friends.

FIREWORKS FINALE:  Nearly every U.S. city or town offers an exciting fireworks display to end the day’s festivities, and we’re never to old or young to ooh and ah at the spectacle.  Perhaps the longest celebration is fittingly held in Philadelphia—a 9 day festival culminating in back-to-back fireworks!

George Washington once said, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.”  Do remember, however, that such a plant needs to cherished, nourished, and protected by each and every American.

Have a safe and happy 4th!