There are few holidays in America as patriotic as the Fourth of July or Independence Day. In fact, it’s arguably the very most patriotic. It’s undoubtedly the most widely celebrated throughout the nation. Since it was declared a national holiday, families of all walks of life have chosen to celebrate our independence from Great Britain in a near-epic fashion.
Fireworks are let off for days. Backyard barbecues, cookouts, and pool parties seem to take place at nearly every other home. And Old Glory flies high everywhere.
However, thanks to COVID-19 and its subsequent pandemic, the last year of holidays has been a bit off. Just about everything was canceled in 2020 due to public health and safety concerns.
We had hoped this year would be different, that the celebrations of old would resume and normal would return. And for most of us, it has, at least to some degree.
Evanston, Illinois, however, is not one of those places.
As it turns out, the city leaders of Evanston, or at least the ones in charge of running and putting on the annual Fourth of July celebration and parade, have decided that there is still “an abundance of caution.” And so, the usually scheduled parade and fireworks show have been canceled.
According to the city’s Fourth of July Association, they will instead hold a virtual celebration featuring a virtual parade, behind-the-scenes look at events, photo contests, and podcasts.
Now, if that’s enough to make you mad, just wait. There is more.
While the city is no longer celebrating Independence Day in person, they did opt to have an in-person Pride parade and another parade and celebration for Juneteenth.
The celebration for the beginning of Pride Month included multiple live events, including a parade, put on by Evanston Pride, Inc., a local LBGT awareness organization.
Similarly, Juneteenth was celebrated with a parade and several other in-person events such as concerts.
Now, to be clear, this is really not the city’s decision or choice.
As I mentioned earlier, it was the Fourth of July Association, a separate, non-city-funded group, that opted to cancel their event.
And the Juneteenth and Pride Month celebrations were similarly put on and organized by other separate, non-city affiliated groups. For example, the group responsible for the second annual Juneteenth celebration was Evanston Present and Future, founded and ran by Kemone Hendricks.
The Fourth of July Association made a statement confirming this, saying, “Evanston’s Juneteenth, Pride, and July 4th celebrations are each organized by separate nonprofit organizations, and each made their own plans for this year’s events. They are entirely community-run, and they each rely heavily on volunteers and donations to succeed.”
Ok, so we can’t blame the city.
But we still don’t have to be happy about it. I mean, here we are some 250 years into our country’s existence, and we, or the people of Evanston, suddenly see more festivities about race and identity politics than our nation’s history?
This is what happens when people begin to worry too much about being politically correct, socially acceptable, or whatever else you want to call it. They have essentially given in to the fear the political left wants us to. And we are worse off for it.
Besides, COVID-19 is pretty much on the run at this point. No, we may never be rid of it entirely, but we have a viable vaccine, more than one actually. People are gaining immunity, and if the studies are correct, that immunity is long-lasting.
Pretty much everywhere except for Washington D.C., mask guidelines have been relaxed, social distancing regulations have been reduced, and businesses are opening back up.
The fact is that our country is getting back to normal, whether the political left wants to accept it or not. Obviously, it’s just going to take a bit longer for those like Evanston’s Fourth of July Association to understand that.
In the meantime, you can be sure that Americans who appreciate our freedoms and our history will be partying it up with or without a parade. I know I will be.