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What is Independence Day?
By Abigail Bond
Edison Communications Student

On July 4th 2017 I attended the annual parade on Miami Street in West Milton, Ohio. I walked the street asking 12 children the same question, “why are we here today?”. Many of the children would beam, saying excitedly, “for the parade!” and others would say “for the candy!” They were all very enthusiastic and were enjoying the celebratory activities, but none of them seemed to understand what I was asking.

I added to my question and asked  “what are we celebrating?” I was shocked to hear that 11 out of the 12 children all agreed we were celebrating for the “fireworks” that would come about at a later time that day.

One little girl told me we were “celebrating God”, “freedom”, “America” and “eagles”. Although none of the responses were what I was looking for, her enthusiasm about her freedom to spend the day “celebrating God” in “America” was slightly uplifting.

At least one of the 12 children understood that July 4th was about more than a parade, candy and fireworks (which seemed to be the universal belief). I gave each child a brief explanation on what the day was about then turned to the parents and gave them a quick “thank you for participating” then went on the next group of kids.

Parents seemed equally as shocked as I did when their children didn’t know the answer to my question. The sad reality of this situation is that youth today do not know about our history and how we gained the freedoms we celebrate today. It is incredibly important that we teach them about our history so they know the true meaning of Independence Day.

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