By Tom H. Hastings
Over the years, the traditions and cultural feelings associated with holidays change; Mothers’ Day began as a peace holiday and morphed into a gauzy Hallmarked thank you to Mothers in general, Veterans’ Day began as Armistice Day commemorating the cessation of bloodshed and the beginning of peace and prosperity but transmogrified into pure gratitude for armed forces, and Columbus Day is slowly converting to Indigenous Peoples Day of acknowledgement that we in America all live on land once occupied by the Original nations who were victims of genocide and massive theft.
So! Holiday change is the only thing permanent, to be a bit Buddhist about it. We might open ourselves to new possibilities.
Trump wants to hijack the 4th of July for his campaign and is willing to steal $2.5 million out of the National Park Service funds to run today’s DC event, where he will speak despite decades of presidents showing respect for the public event by graciously choosing not to orate in that event. Trump’s 4th is all about Dependence on his version of the strongman rule, flanked by military posturing with tanks and fighter jet flyovers–did Putin help him plan this?
Instead of Independence Day, can we consider moving our thinking toward Interdependence Day, a day in which we acknowledge that all deserve a place of safety, that all deserve refuge from war, that all deserve health care, and that all deserve an education, and that we are absolutely dependent on the health of our environment, our food, our air, and our water every day?
Celebrating the interdependence that creates our beautiful diversity and our magnificent strength makes so much more sense than the xenophobic militaristic bombast that we now see. As Trump moves against migrants, homeless, women, and even the families of military members who seek citizenship through active duty in combat zones, we can decide to transform our day to our most hallowed values of respect and care, honoring the contributions of all.