What does 4th of July mean to you?

Friday, July 04, 2014

Charlotte NC Photographer, Anna Dusek Photography
Anna Dusek Photography © 
Before moving to USA I always thought the 4th of July was a regular holiday for Americans. Yes it marks the American independence from England, but we also have an Independence day in Brazil and although we celebrate with parades and all, it does not seem to be as significant as it is for the Americans.

My first Independence Day experience was when I was living in South Elgin, IL, living with my host family from the exchange program I was participating. I do remember they spending their day barbecuing with their family, everyone wearing something blue, red and white, and the kids swinging around their flags.

At night is a tradition to go see the fireworks. Although my English wasn't that great at the time, one of the things I most heard people asking during that week was "where will you see the fireworks". In some areas is usually a week long celebration, with towns having their firework shows in different days.

It's a feeling of friendship, family and putting aside all the alcohol, burgers and hot dogs consumed during the day, is a day where people make sure to remember a milestone. The country conquered their independence. The veterans are celebrated and reminded for being part of it. The kids are included there for being their future. It was all done so we could be here today. A feeling of acceptance. The land of the freedom.

To me 4th of July is a day where I get to learn even more about the country that embraced me with so many opportunities and the country I chose to live. The country where my daughter was born and where I met my loving husband. Where I was thought to live independently. That even living around the "american dream", that I am free of all the material things and living minimalist is possible. Where I gain the knowledge to to let go of things and be my best.

What does 4th of July mean to you?

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