A holiday for all Americans

The Fourth of July is celebrated by the many different faces of America.

July Fourth is celebrated as the day the 13 colonies declared themselves free from British rule, and more than 200 years later, Independence Day has become one holiday for Americans that transcends all boundaries. The Fourth of July is more than fireworks, as Independence Day serves as a reminder of the inalienable rights of all people and the democratic principles this country was established on.

Independence Day goes beyond ethnic and religious boundaries by being a nonreligious, national holiday. Communities bring families together at barbecuing events and firework displays. The holiday sheds light upon dynamic cultures that are not traditionally associated with red, white and blue explosions. Alongside traditional hot dogs and hamburgers, one might find goat, sushi or any number of imported dishes. English isn’t the default language. A T-shirt and jeans isn’t the universal garb. The face of the United States has changed and is changing.

Across the nation, U.S. citizens come together to celebrate something truly beautiful. The Declaration of Indendence did not convey anything radical; it simply reiterated the words of freedom that are innate to the human spirit. The document signifies liberty and the rights of humans; it expresses the idea that all people are created equal.

U.S. history teaches that government should be accountable to its people and that its failure to do so demands its overthrow. The privilege of being given these freedoms comes with the responsibility of being an active constituent. This country was founded on its citizens supporting important causes, and likewise protesting that which is not in the best interest of people. Independence Day should remind people of the rights and responsibilities citizens enjoy in this country.

Regardless of race, religion or ideology, Independence Day unites this nation together under the banner of liberty, democracy and freedom. While democracy in this country is not perfect, this holiday reminds U.S. citizens of the admirable beliefs this country was founded on and the ideal that we should be working toward.