A3Writer: Independence Day
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

     I love July 4th. I love the United States. I've always been a huge history buff, and can rattle off stories about the 13 colonies long past the point when people will listen to me.
      It wasn't until I did a summer of grad school in Juneau, Alaska that I saw patriotism on a personal level. Yeah, I know, Juneau doesn't have colonial roots, and is geographically as far as it gets from the Revolutionary War. Every year, Juneau is proudly the first city in the U.S. to celebrate July 4th. They start just before midnight on July 3rd. The fireworks light up the sky near the docks where all the cruise ships come in, and it is literally standing-room only. The entire town turns out for this celebration of Independence. When speaking with Juneauites (I have no idea if that's the correct term, but it has a cool sound to it), the reason for this celebration is simple enough: the miners got the 4th off for a holiday.
      The origins of their celebration may not have had anything to do with Independence, but how the city celebrates does. They come out as a community both that night, and all day of the 4th. Barbecues, games, and events take place throughout the day. To my mind, nothing could be more patriotic than to spend the day in celebration with families and friends, enjoying the freedom the day represents to the fullest.

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