In the United States, the 4th of July is a day to celebrate our independence; it’s the day back in 1776 that a group of men signed a declaration that claimed we were no longer a colony of England. Granted, it took many more years to make that declaration come true but that single act took great courage and it showed how we could take many disparate people (our Founding Fathers did not agree on everything) and make a government work despite the differences.
A 4th of July parade is a celebration of those differences and how we can all pull together despite them.
Point in fact, the parade in Monterey, CA, a town that celebrates it’s military connections, both historic and modern while boasting one of the largest Peace Coalitions in Northern California. It’s a celebration of sustainable practices (bikes, anyone?) and fossil fuel burning beauties. Like many parades in the US, it’s a joyful noise of young and old, most dressed in red, white, and blue, all smiling while dancing, prancing, singing, and marching along a route lined by applauding community members.
This year, the morning was unseasonably gorgeous, the ever present gray fog banned from the surrounding area. And the highlight of my day was a little girl, not more than 3 years old, whose eyes lit up at the sight of a giant birthday cake coming down the street. She didn’t understand that we were celebrating a nation’s birthday, but her excitement reminded me that all of us should look at the world through a child’s eyes and see the wonder.