Friday, July 6, 2012
Russell Ken-Bun-Ki July 11, 1996 "America's Independance Day"
Note: "Russell's Ken-Bun-Ki" is a series of articles I wrote for my Japanese City Hall newsletter back in 1996. They were articles about life in America or life in Japan as experienced by an American. This one is from July 11, 1996.
Last week was July 4th, the 220th birthday of the United States. In 1775 The War of Independance started between the United States and the United Kingdom. The next year The Declaration of Independance was issued in Philadelphia. The war continued until 1783. After the war, the United States wrote the first Constitution the world had ever seen. For our first President we chose General George Washington.
All Americans love "The Fourth of July" holiday. The weather is great every year, so many people have picnics, or go to festivals or carnivals. It is always a very fun day. Then at night there are always fireworks. In Philadelphia, rich with history, you can see some of the most beautiful fireworks in the nation.
Several years ago Tom Cruise starred in the movie, "Born On The Fourth of July." My guess is that Japanese people do not understand the deep meaning of this title. In America, Americans born on Independance Day are going to be especially patriotic citizens. Tom Cruise played a character who was patriotic as a child, but when he became an adult he stopped loving America blindly. He became an anti-war protestor.
America's Independance Day is totally different from Japan's "Founding Day." I think fun holidays like the Fourth of July and Christmas show off the true meaning or feeling of America. I'm a little sad not to be in America right now for the Fourth of July, but I guess I will make do celebrating "Ocean Day" on July 20 instead.