Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Why is this July 4 different from all others?

Some of my favorite images from July 4th celebrations past
which capture the best hopes we have for our country.
This hope is needed now more than ever. We cannot allow
Donald Trump to define what patriotism is and who is a patriot.

As we approach this year's 4th of July celebration, I am put in mind of the question posed at the Passover Seder: How is this night different from all other nights?

It is meant to instruct young people in the central commemoration of the Jewish faith, the deliverance from slavery in Egypt.

It seems to me that in these current very difficult times, it would be well to consider this July 4th as different from any other.

Of course we will have our annual parade (this year is the 95th), stepping off at 10:00 AM and proceeding down East Front Street to Park Avenue. I am very fond of this parade -- one of the few left in New Jersey, and a hallmark Plainfield celebration.

Then of course we will have the outdoor concert at Cedar Brook Park (from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM), and the concluding fireworks display at the concert's end.

It is especially important for us to keep in mind the patriotic significance of July 4 this year, as our institutions and the rule of law so unique to America are under assault by Donald Trump and his minions.

We need to remind ourselves that we love America, despite its warts and imperfections, despite its shortcomings and flaws.

It is the country we love for the freedom and opportunities we have under its flag.

It is not perfect but it is the only country we have and we should stand by its best aspirations in its time of need.

While we are enjoying our 4th of July celebrations here in Plainfield, we should also remember that there are those for whom this is a bitter holiday indeed -- the terrified children and anxious parents who have been separated unjustly by the malicious policies of the Trump administration.

We cannot afford to let Donald Trump's narrow, spiteful and cruel vision define patriotism and who is a patriot.

July 4th is our opportunity to show him what real patriotism is about, that America is a welcoming place and that every person should be treated with dignity and respect.

 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

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