Vandaag is het 4 juli, Onafhankelijkheidsdag (Independence Day) in de Verenigde Staten. In een interview in het programma “State of the Union” van CNN had voormalig minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, Colin Powell het over wat de Fourth of July voor hem betekent. “July 4th still represents a remarkable date for us to stall or stop and reflect on what our founding fathers achieved on July 4 of 1776”, aldus Powell. “And the noble sentiment they gave to the rest of the world that all men are created equal and that governments serve the people. And the people serve the nation. So, on July 4th, let’s as we were told by our founding fathers, shoot rockets and celebrate and let the bombs go off and celebrate and praise our flag”, aldus Powell. “But let’s not forget that the freedom we enjoy, the freedom that we declared that we would have in 1776, still has to be won every single day and it’s won by all of us, but especially by these young men and women in uniform.” Independence Day wordt veelal geassocieerd met parades, barbecues, picknicks, honkbalspelletjes, vuurwerk en verschillende andere publieke en privégelegenheden ter viering van de historie en tradities van de Verenigde Staten. Meer informatie over de geschiedenis van Independence Day is hier en hier te vinden.
EXTRA: Dit zei Obama over de betekenis en viering van Independence Day:
A day to celebrate and aspire
This weekend, our family will join millions of others in celebrating America. We will enjoy the glow of fireworks, the taste of barbeque, and the company of good friends. As we all celebrate this weekend, let’s also remember the remarkable story that led to this day.
Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, our nation was born when a courageous group of patriots pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the proposition that all of us were created equal.
Our country began as a unique experiment in liberty — a bold, evolving quest to achieve a more perfect union. And in every generation, another courageous group of patriots has taken us one step closer to fully realizing the dream our founders enshrined on that great day.
Today, all Americans have a hard-fought birthright to a freedom which enables each of us, no matter our views or background, to help set our nation’s course. America’s greatness has always depended on her citizens embracing that freedom — and fulfilling the duty that comes with it.
As free people, we must each take the challenges and opportunities that face this nation as our own. As long as some Americans still must struggle, none of us can be fully content. And as America comes ever closer to achieving the perfect Union our founders dreamed, that triumph — that pride — belongs to all of us.
So today is a day to reflect on our independence, and the sacrifice of our troops standing in harm’s way to preserve and protect it. It is a day to celebrate all that America is. And today is a time to aspire toward all we can still become.
With very best wishes,
President Barack Obama
July 4th, 2009