Dear Grandparenting: July 4th is my favorite holiday. Christmas, Thanksgiving and all the rest are good excuses for getting together with family and friends, but Independence Day commemorates the founding of the greatest nation on earth.
I do it up big like any good patriot. We fly the flag and barbecue. Neighbors drift in and out. We fool around and have fun, but talk about America and what makes it so special. That’s the whole idea, right?
Based on what I saw the last couple of times, most grandchildren don’t really get it. Maybe they’re not totally clueless, but they don’t really comprehend what we older folks are making such a fuss about, much less care.
And that’s a great shame if you ask me. Is this typical? If so, the meaning of this profoundly important date is doomed to be forgotten. Old Glory, Buffalo, New York
Dear Glory: It pains us to say so, but we agree that the significance of July 4 seems lost on far too many.
Founding father John Adams, who beat the drum for July 4 “bells, bonfires and illuminations,” declared that Independence Day should be “celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”
Grandchildren are all too familiar with the festival part of the equation – the parades and fireworks – but come up short on the big picture behind this national holiday.
There’s plenty of that going around. According to several polls, about 50 percent of Americans know what the July 4 “fuss” is all about, and the younger they are the less it matters. That stuff is ancient history.
With the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by members of the Continental Congress, the infant nation America announced it was no longer under the boot of the British Empire.
It marked the beginning of the great experiment in democratic self-rule that endures, for better or worse, as the symbol of the free world. Do your grandchildren the great favor of reminding them how lucky they are to be here.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Ray Moore, Marshall, Michigan, was trying to educate messy grandson, Matt, about the amount of work it takes to keep his house and yard tidy.
But Matt was skeptical. “You have all day since you retired, Pop-Pop. You’re just a lot more tired now.”
Ray burst out laughing. “Retired and tired, it’s all the same to me.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.