The beginning of July marks the end of the first half of 2023, as well as the Fourth of July. Many people will spend the holiday watching spectacular fireworks shows in celebration, but it is important to also acknowledge that just like any year, it has been a year marked with chaos and loss
Supreme Court Rulings
Just in the past week, the Supreme Court announced its decisions to several important cases that left many Americans frustrated over the results. The Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan, ruled in favor of a web designer refusing to serve LGBTQ+ couples, and also stuck down affirmative action for college admissions.
There are endless differing opinions on these decisions, causing division within the country. And while yes, division hurts our country, there is still beauty to be found within it. People have the freedom to voice their dissenting opinions openly in America. We are allowed to have open discourses about important topics. Not every country can say the same.
Of course, there is still much work to be done and we can always be better and continue to strive to be closer to complete freedom and equality for everyone. But as we turn to the Fourth of July, let us also remember the good this country has done and provided for its citizens
Freedom of Press
Without the protections that the US affords it’s press, journalists would not be allowed to dig as deep into their articles or even publish some of them. As we celebrate the Fourth of July, we also want to highlight some of our journalists and editors who work hard to provide up to date news to our readers. Here are their plans for the Fourth of July and some of their thoughts regarding it:
Pablo Vasquez (Journalist):
“I’ve stayed at home and watched the special on TV or waited for hours at the East River till sundown for the Macy’s Fireworks special. This year I think I might celebrate it with my aunt and uncle since they are here visiting. When the 4th of July special is shown on the tv they will have special guest singers that will sing their hit songs before the show begins. However, we are going to celebrate this holiday in the best way we can and for another year celebrate the beauty of our nation and what our soldiers sacrificed for our freedom.”
Annabella Leuzze (Journalist):
“For the 4th of July, my family and I are starting off the day with going to our favorite local paddle boarding spot. After that relaxing time on the water and in the sun, we’ll come back to our house for some classic American foods. On the menu for tomorrow night in my household are hot dogs, burgers, and corn on the cob. Once we indulge in these iconic treats, we will likely sit on our back deck and scan the sky for fireworks. We don’t light our own, but have a great view that allows us to partake in neighboring groups’ festivities. I’m not very keen on celebrating in a large, organized fashion, as I don’t feel that the ideals of freedom this holiday emphasizes are equally accessible to all inhabitants of the US. That being said, I always enjoy a tasty meal and quality time with my family.”
R.E. Seibel (Editor):
“While Milwaukee’s Lakefront Fireworks Display will take place tonight, July 3rd, there will be plenty of booms and bangs far into tomorrow night. My plans consist of a simple grill-out with my family and a walk to the local park for a great view of the fireworks. It’s common to hear various bottle rockets and poppers all through the summer around here, but people have really stepped up their game since the 2020 pandemic. That particular 4th probably set a new record. Although most fireworks are technically illegal in my neighborhood, there haven’t been any serious injuries or property damage (that I’m aware of). Usually people, myself included, are having too much fun to care”
Aditi Vyakaranam (Journalist):
“As for celebrating the fourth of July, in my family it’s not that much different than a normal day. Considering both my parents are immigrants, much of our celebration consists of getting dinner from a restaurant and watching something together as a family. However, we do watch fireworks together. The HOA (homeowner’s association) for our community hosts a yearly fireworks spectacle the weekend before July 4th at the park near my house. Since the entire community usually comes to watch it makes you feel as though you’re a part of something bigger than just a holiday. It’s a wonderful experience since they have food and music as well and it really makes Independence day feel special.
Madison Ladewig (Editor):
“As a U.S. citizen who has been living in Canada for the last 10 months, I celebrated Canada Day on July 1. While the day was rainy and dreary, the collective excitement of the city of Edmonton—the capital of Alberta—was tangible. Food trucks skirted the streets near the Legislature Building, and a line wrapped around the grounds as people itched to view the inside of the government facility. Groups of musicians dotted the surrounding area. A quintet, composed of a trumpet, a trombone, a tuba, and a marching bass and snare drum, drew a crowd of nearly fifty onlookers. Another, smaller band—that of a singer, a drumset, and a guitar—sat atop a stage. They were just beginning to draw a crowd when I walked past with my girlfriend and a pair of friends. Farther away, in what is called the ICE District, sits Rogers Place: most notably known for being the home of the Edmonton Oilers NHL team. A woman walked around on stilts, mingling with the many children who gathered to dance to the music played through the loudspeakers. Another food truck sat there, this time offering rolled maple syrup, something of a custom for Canadians to eat on their independence day. The fireworks show—put on by the city—wasn’t scheduled until 11 that night, as the sun has hardly set by 10 most nights. I did miss the fireworks show, but it was a new experience, certainly much different from the typical 4th of July celebration in my small Mississippi hometown.”
Mhea Bardouille (Journalist):
“There are no Caribbean countries that officially celebrate the Fourth of July as a national holiday. However, this year, the celebrations are in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the regional integration movement, CARICOM. Thus, many countries are doing a dual celebration which will include a parade, concert and fireworks. I will be spending my 4th of July with family and friends watching large firework shows, often accompanied by music and other festivities.”
Timothy Jung (Editor):
“My family usually spends time together and eats “American” food like hamburgers or hot dogs. One newer tradition that we have started in past years is watching the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and cheering on Joey Chestnut. It is just a fun, once a year thing we get to do. We usually will also tune into some fireworks on TV later on at night as well. Personally, I think that there is much work to be done for us to be able to call the US a truly free country for all of its inhabitants, but I celebrate the Fourth of July because I want to still acknowledge all of the progress we have made to get to where we are now as we still have a lot compared to other places.”