For all of the citizens of the United States of America, fine and free, enjoy this annual celebration of our independence, of our tradition as a safe haven for the battered and weary and frustrated and abused to indulge in the universal rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When celebrating with my parents back at my childhood home, this typically translates to devouring copious amounts of pulled pork, boozy margaritas, and obscenely decadent cream cheese icing chiffon flag cake with fresh berries. This year, I am welcoming a long-time friend into his new home and we are anxiously anticipating the annual New York fireworks display atop his roof. Much has evolved since the inception of this country, since her initial colonial settlements grew restless and discontent, but as our own nation and the global community in which we reside hangs in a tenuous position, often kneeling before the greed and insidious desires of behemoth bureaucratic institutions, of certain corporate monsters, I encourage us all to remember and honor that early mantra, still ringing true in a this ever interconnected and complicated world: live free, or die.
(image taken from Collecting Marilyn)