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Happy Birthday America!

fourth

Americans are preparing for a big holiday tomorrow with the arrival of the Fourth of July. Red, white and blue to the extreme. Stars and stripes hanging everywhere, a lot of colorful parades and small town festivals. Usually, I stay at home in the Washington, DC area and watch the fireworks explode over the Washington Monument and Capitol from the comfort of my apartment balcony. However, this year we're lucky because the holiday falls on Friday, my work closes today at 2 p.m., and we're treated to a long weekend. I'll travel to our wilderness home in Fredricksburg, Virginia and try to attend the festivities tomorrow in the Old Town area. We're having a crushing heatwave here in Virginia, temps today around +35 C, but I'll do my best to suffer in the heat and photograph the local festival to show you how Americans typically celebrate their nation's birthday. It involves a lot hamburgers and hot dogs, beer, family time and guess what? FLAGS!! :))

To define America in a few words is impossible for me. I can only say I love my country, its people and the principles upon which it was founded. Yes, this is a textbook quote and to try to explain American patriotism seems impossible to a foreign audience. I've tried here on LiveJournal and can never adequately express it, or my Russian audience can't relate to the sentiment. Many readers feel our patriotism is unauthentic or a product of indoctrination, but it's not the truth. I think you must live here, absorb the diverse beauty of the nation, from its landscapes to people, to fully appreciate the country and the spirit of its people. Politically, America sometimes feels like two nations, not one. Yet on the human front, I still believe "American" is a cohesive term. A feeling that people genuinely care about and respect others, that you can come from anywhere in the world, work hard, assimilate into our society and be considered "American" in the same manner as a person born here. There are not many nations on the globe where this is possible.

Happy Birthday America! I've traveled to over 30 countries, yet there's no other place I wish to call home. 

Comments

( 135 comments — Leave a comment )
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sineglazzka2301
Jul. 3rd, 2014 03:17 pm (UTC)
What I absolutely admire is your patriotism! Honestly, that's really great. There is nothing of the kind here in Russia. We had a similar holiday on June, 12. It's newly established, but still... It passed so unnoticed by the masses. The only reason why we notice this holiday at all is that we have a day off. Haven't you got a day off on the 4th of July?
I think, indoctrination is a good thing in such issues as patriotism, national holidays, flags, anthems etc.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC)
I think there are many Russian patriots, I see them here on LiveJournal. But most of my readers don't fall into this category. What is the purpose of the Russian holiday on 12 June? Yes, the Fourth of July is a national holiday and most people have the day off from work. There's a big celebration in all major cities, but even small towns usually have a big gathering with decent fireworks.
(no subject) - aapetrenko - Jul. 3rd, 2014 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 09:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sineglazzka2301 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 06:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aapetrenko - Jul. 3rd, 2014 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - sineglazzka2301 - Jul. 4th, 2014 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 09:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
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a_nimaida
Jul. 3rd, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
Congratulations Americans, not Obama, not the State Department, who wants to destroy Russia. with the holidays
Americans love. But Obama and the U.S. State Department - DEVIL


can you explain? please!!!!
https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2277
U.S. wants war with Russia?
read it here
can you explain what that means?



andrey_kaminsky
Jul. 3rd, 2014 03:58 pm (UTC)
Спокойствие и только спокойствие
Ещё в 20м веке люди дошли до мысли, что в ядерной войне не может быть победителя. Никто не хочет совершать самоубийство и уж если и кто-нибудь нажмёт красную кнопку, то скорей всего, это будет наш ботексный альфа-самец, обнаруживший, что, в силу возраста, он уже не может любить женщин:)
Why anyone? - xpo_xpo_xpo - Jul. 6th, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Why anyone? - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 7th, 2014 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nuclear winter is just a theory. - xpo_xpo_xpo - Jul. 5th, 2014 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Nuclear winter is just a theory. - andrey_kaminsky - Jul. 5th, 2014 04:31 am (UTC) - Expand
You need smoke to make this theory work. - xpo_xpo_xpo - Jul. 5th, 2014 01:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - moebiuscat - Jul. 3rd, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - moebiuscat - Jul. 3rd, 2014 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 06:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 3rd, 2014 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 07:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 3rd, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
andrey_kaminsky
Jul. 3rd, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
Мой воображаемый друг Джон Ленон смотрит на вещи иначе
I have quite a similar situation with my ISP. I am quite pleased with the quality of services and the price 15$ per month for internet and cable TV suits me. Plus, this company never killed anyone:) I think, maybe I have to arrange a similar extravaganza in its honor every year
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Мой воображаемый друг Джон Ленон смотрит на вещи ина
Maybe the heat has warped my brain, but I don't understand the John Lennon reference? Explain please.
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - andrey_kaminsky - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Caballero De Industria
Jul. 3rd, 2014 04:16 pm (UTC)
Да, хэпи бёздей ЮЭсЭй!
Кул кантри, йес.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
Привет! Вы говорите по-английски?
(no subject) - Caballero De Industria - Jul. 3rd, 2014 08:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Caballero De Industria - Jul. 3rd, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 09:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
onkel_hans
Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:00 pm (UTC)
Jolly holiday to you!

I would not say America is like two nations. Although I call Republicans - American Communists, they are a milder, endogenous kind The differences with the "Democratic" sub-nation are tolerable. It is really one nation.

I have seen a few various nations and feel that the Americans are the second in generosity and friendliness, closely ollowing the Dutch.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:04 pm (UTC)
Yes, the Dutch are awesome! I've visited Amsterdam twice. If America continues to legalize pot in other States, perhaps we will soon surpass them in friendliness, as stressed out Americans will have another way to chill out. :) How does your family celebrate? Do you go to a big fireworks display in Boston, or just stay home? Crowds are too much for me in the big city celebrations. I only went to the National Mall once in my lifetime for fireworks on the Fourth of July, even though I live right by the area.
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 06:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - south_of_broad - Jul. 4th, 2014 09:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - south_of_broad - Jul. 4th, 2014 09:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Thanks - onkel_hans - Jul. 4th, 2014 12:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Thanks - south_of_broad - Jul. 5th, 2014 11:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Thanks - onkel_hans - Jul. 5th, 2014 01:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
onkel_hans
Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:02 pm (UTC)
Heat wave...
Something strange. The Internet weather sources tell it is 74 but my alcohol and digital thermometers show 84!
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:05 pm (UTC)
It's very warm here, but anything over 20 F is too hot for me. :)
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jul. 3rd, 2014 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
yarowind
Jul. 3rd, 2014 06:24 pm (UTC)
My congratulations!
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Vlad! Maybe one summer you will be in America for vacation during this holiday. :)
(no subject) - yarowind - Jul. 4th, 2014 02:48 am (UTC) - Expand
south_of_broad
Jul. 3rd, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
Any news on the approaching hurricane? I've read the festivities have been canceled on the East Coast all the way up to Maryland.
We are celebrating here too.. Very strange to do it while living abroad, kind of surreal , but it is what it is) You have fun with your family and friends. I love 4-th of July.
Happy Birthday, America!
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 09:00 pm (UTC)
We just got bombarded with severe storms and hail in Northern Virginia, but the rest of the weekend should be clear. I think the wrath of the hurricane is supposed to hit the Outer Banks of North Carolina, so some beach vacations will be ruined or cancelled. You are overseas now, or in South Carolina?
(no subject) - south_of_broad - Jul. 4th, 2014 09:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 4th, 2014 01:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - south_of_broad - Jul. 5th, 2014 11:34 am (UTC) - Expand
general_denikin
Jul. 3rd, 2014 07:11 pm (UTC)
I just realized I never lived in America. Nobody here in south Brooklyn have ever bothered to celebrate independence Day or any other american holidays. Sadly, but understandable. People born in America are minority in south Brooklyn.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 09:02 pm (UTC)
People born in America are also a minority in my parent's neighborhood. It is now filled with mostly Mexican and Central American immigrants, but they still celebrate the Fourth of July w/their families. I've seen them at the local festivals, and also lighting fireworks in their yards. So, it's something odd with your area. Do you live in a neighborhood of mostly Russian immigrants?
(no subject) - general_denikin - Jul. 7th, 2014 07:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - south_of_broad - Jul. 4th, 2014 09:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - general_denikin - Jul. 7th, 2014 07:56 am (UTC) - Expand
siberian_cat
Jul. 3rd, 2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
Happy Independence day! Your revolution had significantly boosted the growth of Canadian population. :)
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks! There's a possibility I may finally make it to Canada in the autumn, with a visit to the Maritime provinces. Keep your fingers crossed. :)
noizz_orb
Jul. 4th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
How can one be a patriot in Russia if he sees thieves heading the state, a region, a town? The thieves that care about their own prosperity and making everything to look insane. I believe, patriots here are those who destroy Russia for the sake of money and use the fake patriotism as a cover.
south_of_broad
Jul. 4th, 2014 09:15 am (UTC)
Well, most of the Americans disapprove their Government but they still love their country.
andrey_kaminsky
Jul. 4th, 2014 04:50 am (UTC)
Совпадение
I'll never fall in love with any State, but people are admirable. Little subtitles from American cinema. Only French cinema is better than American in my opinion:)
1
00:00:32,765 --> 00:00:35,291
The thing about me and Bob,
and pretty much all of us, was...

2
00:00:35,369 --> 00:00:38,363
we hated rednecks
more than anything else, period.

3
00:00:38,441 --> 00:00:40,911
Because rednecks for us
were America incarnate.

4
00:00:40,980 --> 00:00:44,144
And America? Huh.
Well, fuck America!

5
00:01:04,020 --> 00:01:06,581
So, hey,
what do you wanna do now?

6
00:01:06,659 --> 00:01:10,927
Let's score. I gotta get some pelt
tonight or my balls are gonna drop off.
pasha1980
Jul. 4th, 2014 09:29 am (UTC)
Happy Independence Day!
Happy Independence Day!
You live in a beautiful country inhabited by beautiful, freedom-loving people.
Most people bitch and moan about America because at a deeper level they envy America.
Your ancestors took what was the best in the Old World and improved it and have built a beautiful country.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 4th, 2014 01:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Happy Independence Day!
Thanks! America isn't a perfect country, but a pretty damn good one. :)
skvorets1989
Jul. 4th, 2014 08:18 pm (UTC)
I've tried here on LiveJournal and can never adequately express it, or my Russian audience can't relate to the sentiment. Many readers feel our patriotism is unauthentic or a product of indoctrination, but it's not the truth.

Not only for Russian audience but also for POTUS Barack Obama who said this:

Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

Which is no wonder because he also wrote this:

To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.

Tyranny is fucking always just around the corner. That is what America about - scepticism about government and seeing it as a wild beast which should be put in an iron cage called checks and ballances. And if they fail - and they might fail - there is second amendment for that.

Edited at 2014-07-04 08:21 pm (UTC)
south_of_broad
Jul. 5th, 2014 11:37 am (UTC)
Thank you!
(no subject) - skvorets1989 - Jul. 5th, 2014 12:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 6th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 6th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
xpo_xpo_xpo
Jul. 4th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC)
I had to go to work @ 9...
And I'm sick (and it's not due to my 15 min work today). And Columbia had their game lost to Brazil... Sad, very sad day.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 6th, 2014 06:32 pm (UTC)
Re: I had to go to work @ 9...
I've just returned from the forest with my family, so my holiday was good! I was cheering for Columbia, and also Costa Rica, so it was a sad futbol weekend for me too!! However, the games were good, especially the last one. Now I don't really care who wins. I always cheer for the underdogs, and they've all been eliminated now.
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