The United States turns 237 today and the Republic is looking pretty darned good.
Americans from the Jersey Shore to Pacific Beach will be marking the day with all sorts of celebrations.
They’ll be spitting watermelon seeds in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma and running the Peachtree road race in Atlanta. Over on Coney Island – they’ll be scarfing down hotdogs at the Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest. In Germantown, Tenn. firefighters will be smoking a pork butt.
In North Hampton, Mass. more than four dozen people will pledge their allegiance for the very first time – new citizens of these United States.
Fireworks will mark this most festive occasion in places like Lafayette, La. and Washington, D.C. Soldiers and sailors will march in parades as grateful Americans wave flags and cheer – thanking their fellow countrymen – willing to take up arms to protect our freedom.
Exceptional celebrations for an exceptional nation on this most exceptional day.
And in New York City Lady Liberty’s torch will once again burn bright. The Statue of Liberty reopened after sustaining heavy damage during Hurricane Sandy.
The Mother of Exiles was immortalized by the poet Emma Lazarus.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
We are the sons and daughters of those huddled masses – ordained with the task of tending Lady Liberty’s flame for future generations yearning to breathe free.
Happy Birthday, America.