Wednesday, July 5, 2006

What would John Adams have made of this Fourth of July?

What would the venerable John Adams, who more than anyone was responsible for the Continental Congress' acceptance of the Declaration of Independence and who celebrated the date of Independence (July 4) as much as he could before he died (Oddly enough on July 4), think of:
  • The NASA shuttle launch that took place this past July 4th?
  • Boston's annual "dash for space' closest to the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade?
  • Retail stores being open on July 4?
  • Hot dog eating contests taking place on July 4?
  • Almanzo Wilder's father, James' observation that it was the "shovels and pickaxes that made America"?
  • Enron chief Kenneth Lay's death?
  • President G.W. Bush's trip to visit the troops in an "unnecessary war"?
  • Steve Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith performing with the Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops?
  • the fact that the most popular song that is performed at the Boston Celebration being the 1812 Overture, which had more to do with France and Russia and less to do with the United States?
  • The fact that the number one beer consumed was probably the beer that bears his cousin's name-Sam Adams?
  • The fact that many American school children cannot spell 'Declaration of Independence' much less tell anyone that is listening what it is about beyond, "We hold these to be self evident" and " the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"?
  • The fact that his cousin Sam Adams is known more as a beer than for the work he did to found the country and for the state of Massachusetts?
  • The fact that his wife Abigail would not have been allowed to bring her knitting needles onto the Esplanade? (Not that she would have...)
  • That the USS Constitution-"Old Ironsides", one of the ships that he worked hard to have built based upon his belief that the United States needed a navy, is brought out for a spin around the harbor every July 4?
  • That there are people who spend most of their lives reenacting the events of the "serious times" that he lived through?
  • That he is a cartoon character on "Liberty's kids"?
  • That the United States has so far survived 230 years (thought there would have been a bigger celebration for such a milestone)?
  • That a gill of hard cider cannot be had anywhere on July 4?

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