"Blast Off For Fourth of July"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 238th Birthday!

Once again, as in all years past, we celebrate the birth of our nation on July 4. Independence Day was adopted July 4, 1776. On that date, it was announced to the world that the American colonies declared themselves free and independent states. They claimed all men to be equal and all citizens to have equal rights.

Down through our 238 years, the Fourth of July has been one of the most celebrated holidays. Red, white and blue colors spring up everywhere. We all fly our stars and stripes proudly. Not too many of us realize what we are celebrating though, most think it’s a day for parades and fireworks.

The day of the Fourth of July actually has become a week-long celebration with fireworks being shot off three or four days before the event. Families turn the week of the 4th into reunions, planning a year in advance to come together for all the picnics and parties that will take place.

Yes, we are celebrating our country’s birth and the launching of our rights. We hear about those rights almost daily in the news as they are continuously challenged. How long has it been since they were regarded as they originally were intended? It seems interpretations of them are made to fit individual desires and those interpretations drift far from what the intentions were.

We have celebrated down through the years and as our celebrations change and evolve, so do our rights. Although all of our rights may be equal, it is not clear that we need all of them because the Supreme Court always is busy ruling on their meaning. We should recall the Supreme Court as we know it was not even heard of when our rights were drafted.

The first-ever Supreme Court was scheduled to be seated on the first day of February in 1790. The assembly failed to seat a quorum at that first session (reminds us of our present Congress) so the date changed to Feb. 2, 1790. Since that date, the major questions brought before the court frequently regard interpretations of our rights. Opinions of the high court differ depending upon the right that is challenged.

The original Amendments to the constitution, which numbered 10, became the Bill of Rights. Since the first 10 were penned, more than 11,500 amendments have been proposed and introduced in Congress. Not all of them are recorded and very few have been adopted. It would fill my next three columns to give any further explanation, but it does make for interesting reading.

This Fourth of July, the parades came down the streets, kids gathered trinkets, lots of candy and clapped and cheered when the big fire trucks and tractors rode by. Many a grill was fired up and loaded with hot dogs and burgers. Tim’s potato salad topped off my menu. After the picnic meal settled, most of the families flocked to the ice cream parlors. If they wanted a good seat for the fireworks, they probably headed to the lake front to enjoy the sunset over the water.

By the time you read this, some of the fireworks have already exploded, but if you missed them on Friday, Caseville, Port Hope and Cass City all have theirs at dusk on Saturday. I’m sure a few firework lovers saved some to round out the weekend’s activities. If they are real enthusiasts, they probably bought enough to blast off the rest of the month.

An old saying is corn should be knee high by the Fourth of July — whose knee and how tall are they? Another one is July Fourth marks the peak of summer. I haven’t heard that lately, so I hope it’s wrong. In the Thumb this year, summer just seems to be getting started and everyone is ready to enjoy it.


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