As a teenager, July 4th has somewhat of a different meaning for me than it does for most adults. The main focus of the day seems to be having barbeques, going for a swim, and watching fireworks light up the night sky to celebrate with family and friends the independence won by our founding fathers. While I love these things as much as anyone (okay, maybe a little more than just anyone), for me there is another, important meaning hidden beneath the fireworks and celebrations: There is a sense of the responsibility I and the rest of my generation carries to not only preserve the significance of Independence Day, but to renew that message each year with the promise that we will not allow this nation to ever return to the bondage we experienced under the British Crown— today through events and programs that lean toward socialism and government dependence.
Independence Day is the one day every year that Americans are united by patriotism and stand in unashamed pride in our country. Three-hundred-sixty-four days of the year are similar to the budding period of a flower when it comes to patriotism; but on the three-hundred-sixty-fifth day that bud blossoms out with enough fragrance and color to last the entire year— it just needed that extra push on July 4th to inspire its bloom and continue to spread its message all year. That is one of the attributes that make America such an exceptional nation. Even when hidden under layers of political games, global trends, and unsettling futures, American patriotism runs rampant throughout this country year round. We just have to take the time to water it and care for it— then on July 4th it blossoms into the incredible love of country that keeps us going.
The importance of the message I feel obligated and privileged to carry on is one that should not be taken lightly. July 4th should not be solely a celebration of the past; it should also be a declaration of the future. A declaration from every generation that clearly states to the rest of the country and the world that we will not let our country slip through our fingers. We will “preserve, protect, and defend” the “greatest trust ever confided to a political society” and we will carry on its devotion to freedom and prosperity. July 4th should not only be a recollection of the tyranny we were freed from through victory in the Revolutionary War; it should also be a “modern-day cry to declare that it shall never return.” As we commemorate the true meaning behind the July 4th festivities, we must remember that they are not only meaningful of the past— they are vital to the future. Make this Independence Day your modern-day cry that warns of a future filled with the returned prosperity, peace, and freedom that America's ideals embody.