Saturday, July 6, 2013

I Do Declare, Miss Scarlet...

The fourth of July was rather uneventful on the marsh. For me, anyway. I worked the opening shift at work, got home a little after 3:00 in the afternoon, and that was about it. No excursions out to one of the fireworks displays in the area (too much of a hassle). No barbecuing (no grill). All was fairly low key (I dig low key). One thing I did do was spend a bit of time online...and that was both unsettling and scary.

July 4th isn't about charring meat over charcoal briquettes, or eating potato salad, or chugging beer. It is better known in a historical sense as Independence Day, and it marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. You know, the American Revolution...the thirteen colonies...the resolution declaring the US's independence from Great Britain...and so on, and so forth. Basic grade school history class stuff. All kids learn about it at some point. Or do they? After some of the things I saw online, I'm beginning to wonder.

Either people were napping in class when their teachers were going over that part of history, or maybe it's just not being taught anymore (I’ve been told they don't teach Civics in schools anymore, so it wouldn't surprise me). Most of the horrifying stuff I saw was posted by friends on the Book of Face. Videos of people on the street being asked basic questions about the Declaration of Independence. What is it? When was it signed? Who signed it? Ya know...questions that should be easy to any US citizen. Those chosen were of all ages, and none of them had a clue (I could almost see smoke rising from their ears as their proverbial bulbs dimmed a bit more). Then there were several posts of peoples Facebook status messages that were ecstatic and amazed that “America was celebrating its 2,013th birthday”. Excuse me? I beg your pardon? What?!

(To listen to the video, you can pause the music player at the bottom of the page.)

When I was a kid in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, we learned about our government, among other historical things. Our teachers educated us on the founding fathers, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. Hell, we even learned about US history during our Saturday morning cartoons. Sandwiched between viewing fare like “Scooby Doo” and “Sigmund & The Sea Monsters” were classic little nuggets of musical history lessons. “School House Rock” was an ingenious way to dole out basic history facts via infectious songs (some of which I remember even today). The one regarding the Declaration is above.
Back to my 4th. The crowds typical of a fireworks display had kept Glenn and I in. They are supposed to have a great one on Tybee Island, and it is close to us, but as is usually the case during big events like that more people than the island can hold, and the parking meters can accommodate, show up. In the past few years I have been able to see some of the sparkling flowers of sparks exploding in the distant sky, but they have been far enough away to take the "spectacular" out of the equation. There have been neighbors living on the other side of the trees on the far side of the condos that have set off their own fireworks displays. Last year I was able to see quite a bit of that. Not this year though. No brightly colored flashes of "festive" for me.

Thursday night is Glenn's pool tournament night. July 4th night was no different, so around 8:00 he headed off to The Islander for some ball breaking fun. Once night finished falling, the pyrotechnics started. I could hear them all around the building (well, 'them' and the cicadas), so I decided to go out for some fresh air and some photos. This is what I saw...
However, what I heard sounded like dormant old Fort Pulaski had opened back up for business. Sounds that resembled canon and musket fire cracked, popped, and boomed from every direction. The fireworks sounded impressive...too bad I couldn't see them. I walked over toward the marshes edge to see what I could see over there. Other than the head and tail lights of cars going to and from Tybee, not much. For the most part it was black as pitch. Out here on the islands it gets dark. Well, look at the picture...

Another July 4th has passed. People have celebrated, and people have remembered why they were celebrating. Not a lot of people, but some. With the horrible things going on in the world right now, one would think people would be in mind of the freedom we have, and how we got it. 

But how can they be in mind of something they are clueless about? 

...unsettling and scary...

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