The American calendar is full of opportunities to express your patriotism and/or buy a mattress: Flag Day, Lee-Jackson Day, Patriot’s Day, Purple Heart Day, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (part of Constitution Week), National POW/MIA Recognition Day, Gold Star Mother’s Day, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Bill of Rights Day Veterans Day, Memorial Day . . . but the granddaddy of them all is Independence Day. Our forebears risked life and limb to fight for our freedoms; on Independence Day we risk life and limb to shoot explosives into the air to make pretty night-flowers. We celebrate in time-honored ways: going to the lake, grilling out, beer drinking, lawnmower races. . .
It is, I gather, fashionable to denigrate Lee Greenwood’s flag-waving anthem as jingoist and gauche. I must confess, though, to being a terrible member of the effete elite. God Bless the U.S.A. is one of the very few songs that still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it (Chris LeDoux’s This Cowboy’s Hat is another). It is then in the spirit of unreformed patriotism (and shame that I will be fleeing the country on the most patriotic of dates) that I encourage you to put down your beer and crank up some Lee Greenwood as this Independence Day (then pick your beer back up, because listening to music and drinking beer are not mutually exclusive and are in fact complementary).
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 A real holiday in Maine and Massachusetts, as the Internet reliably informs me.