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July 4, 2014     Post-Gazette
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July 4, 2014

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, JULY 4, 2014 Last weekend, the next fourth. In fact, our own state reminds me of the bright- l E/ town over from mine held a delegate, John Adams, pre- ness and joy of living that 4 .... fair. Everywhere I looked, dicted that July 2 nd would characterizes summer. Dur- posters nailed to telephone poles and plastered on fences proclaimed what would be the fair's highlight -- a fire- works display on Saturday night. I spent Saturday night quietly at home with my husband, watching a movie and eating pizza, when sud- denly distant booms inter- rupted the tranquility. These were the fireworks from the fair, heard from all the way across the next town! I opened my kitchen window, and along with the .balmy night air floated in the faint pops, sizzles and bursts of the fireworks. Though I could not see any of the fireworks, the faraway sound of them provided me with a more mysterious and profound experience than I would have perhaps had if I had seen them up close. For on this night, the warm summer air heightened the sense of the unknown from this far-off celebration, all of which converged into the comfort of my own home to create something truly special. This night encapsu- lated my ideal Fourth of July celebration -- loved ones, hominess, food and fire- works that streak across the dark sky, honoring our country's history and its people in the electric sum- mer heat. As a history buff, I love the Fourth of July for the oppor- tunities it grants us to delve into our country's past. The history of our Independence Day is rather complex. At the height of the Revolutionary War, the convention of del- egates from the Thirteen Colonies known as the Sec- ond Continental Congress approved a resolution that established independence from Great Britain. The date? July 2, 1776. That's right, the second, not the be celebrated in the future with bonfires, parades, and games. While most of Adams's prediction came true, the date of this great feast shifted to July 4 th, the day in which Congress fmally approved the Declaration of Independence after much revision and rewriting. Along with commemorating the birth of the United States, the Fourth of July also in- stills in me a sense of patrio- tism as an Italian-Ameri- can. When I was young, I foolishly thought that speak- ing in Italian and eating Italian foods during the Fourth of July made it less of an "American" holiday, as if my family were somehow celebrating Independence Day the "wrong" way. I now realize that there is nothing to be ashamed of in being an Italian-American -- it is a unique culture, and Ital- ian immigrants have been making inroads in Ameri- can culture, politics and art since the founding of the country. For example, a major painter of the frescoes and artwork in the Capitol building was a nineteenth- century Italian immigrant named Constantino Brumidi! I firmly believe that Amer- ica's blend of cultures is what makes the country so welcoming and strong, and I am proud to honor this aspect of our lives on the Fourth of July. In addition to the history, the Fourth of duly appeals to me because it functions as a primordial summer festi- val, brimming with sun- shine, communal pleasures, fire and water. After all, this is the season of Midsum- mer, or the time of rites and feasts honoring the sun around the summer sol- stice. Indeed, everything. about the Fourth of July K3  Fully Insured Lic #017936 Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning Sales, Service & Installation Ken Shallow 617.593.6211 Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parki:g AUjacet to SL;ikl/:g ing the eve of the Fourth of July, my husband and I go see a fireworks display held in the town in which we grew up. It is a quaint tradi- tion filled with slices of vin- tage Americana: the shouts of joyous children running across a football field, glow sticks spinning like a hun- dred fireflies in the dark night, snatches of classic rock, and finally the bursts of colors popping in the sky as the crowd remains hushed with awe. On the Fourth of July, my family holds a barbecue at my aunt's house, and I bring my two Independence Day specialties: a Southwestern corn pudding and Zebra Pud- ding, a dessert made out of chocolate wafers layered with whipped cream, covered with chocolate sprinkles, and refrigerated until cool and soft. We gather outside in the warm summer after- noon, the smell of barbecue wafting through the air, and talk and laugh as we share nostalgic and funny stories. This celebration fulfills the basic needs of food, commu- nity and love, and for that I will always be thankful for the Fourth of July. This Independence Day, take time to remember and honor what is most impor- tant in life. Be thankful that we live in a country of freedom, and take a pause to express gratitude to the brave military men and women who ensured that such freedom could long reign. Be appreciative of your heritage, and of how the United States allows you to celebrate this heritage every day. Enjoy the long summer holiday, the days of fire- works and bright sunshine and green fireflies flickering through the trees. Revel in the company of family and friends, and remember that spending time with loved ones is one of the most invaluable freedoms of all. Happy Fourth of July! Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folklore at adicenso89@gmail, com. Remember Your Loved Ones The Post-Gazette accepts memorials throughout the year Please call dl 7-227-8929 "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." -- Janis Joplin As an American born in post-World War II, I have watched my country descend into helplessness as far as doing anything to fix things at home and abroad. We have a president who doesn't seem to care about our standing in the world. We used to be a major player in world events but thanks to the Obama White House, we now are nothing more than bystanders watching help- lessly as the world seems to be imploding all around us. We appear to get little respect from friends or foes. The very idea of work- ing with Iran over the ISIS invasion of Iraq is mind- boggling. Sometimes, the enemy of our enemies is still our enemy. At home, we see our stan- dard of living drop as infla- tion lurks nearby. Jobs aren't there and whatever is still there will be going to these recent imported illegals. Thanks to Obamacare, our only hope is not to get sick. Our Constitution is under attack by statist Democrats and Republicans in Wash- ington, DC. Capitalism and the free market are under attack by all those million- aire/billionaire crony-capi- talists from both political parties. They seek govern- ment power. Whether liberal or neo-con, they seem to play the same game. I wish I felt better about my country as we approach the Fourth of duly, the birthday of our constitutional demo- cratic republic. We the people must keep the faith that strengthened our founders back in 1775 when they stood up to tyranny from a distant government. Today our government is distant and controlled by special interests. I support the principle of the Tea Party movement. It is the holy water that will shrink government down to size. Ben Franklin was right when he said walking out of Independence Hall, "We have a Republic if we can keep it." If Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine and John Hancock were alive today, they would call themselves Tea Party members. Government of, for and by the people. It was good enough back in the Revolution, it remains good enough today. Happy Birthday, America. It will be as good as we demand and as bad as we settle for! WINTHROP TO HOLD Neighborhood Night Out Winthrop's Police Department will sponsor Neighborhood Night Out America's Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday, August 5, 2014. This National program is intended to make communi- ties more aware of watching for and helping to prevent crime in neighborhoods. Back in 1984 Winthrop's police department under the guidance of Lt. Frank Scarpa, Jr. spearheaded a commu- nity wide project known as 'Operation Blue Light' linking law enforcement and public safety awareness. Lt. Scarpa, Jr. has been presented and nominated for a 2014 George Washington Honor Medal through the Bay State Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, PA. This program would reach national acclaim and Family Circle magazine (1985) would write about the success of this program that named Winthrop the safest community in the country. Today this annual crime prevention program continues, and it will be a major event here in town with music, vendors, Secret Service vehicles and more. The Winthrop Fire Department will also be demonstrat- ing fire prevention. Circle the date and plan to come down to Pauline Street. Support the men and women who serve and protect you. LETTERS POLICY The Post-Gazette invites its readers to submit Letters to the Editor. Letters should be typed, double-spaced and must include the writer's name, address and telephone number. Anonymous letters are not accepted for publication. Due to space considerations, we request that letters not exceed two double-spaced, type-written pages. This newspaper reserves the right to edit letters for style, grammar and taste and to limit the number of letters published from any one person or organization, Deadline for submission is 12:00 noon on the Monday prior to the Friday on which the writer wishes to have the material published. Submission by the deadline does not guarantee publicat o' Send letter to: Pamela Donnaruma Editor. The Post-Gazette, P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113