10 ways to show your American pride
Ten ways to show your American pride during hot holiday season
Being an American is pretty freakin’ cool.
Sure, Americans make mistakes, but there are few citizens in the world who have the same freedoms, rights and opportunities that we possess.
The country is full of diversity, creativity and entertainment — and people with strong opinions about all of it.
There is no better time to celebrate all that is America than the Fourth of July, and, with that in mind, here is a list of 10 ways to be a “cool” patriot in western Colorado during this hot, holiday season.
Happy Fourth of July!
1. Thank a veteran.
Because of the veterans who defended this country’s freedoms, rights and privileges, women are not oppressed, the government can’t control the press and people can worship freely.
So show a simple gesture of gratitude and offer to buy a veteran a cold bottle of water, lemonade or frosty beverage as temperatures continue to hover at or near 100 degrees.
2. Bake a birthday cake.
If America could talk it might ask for a birthday cake. After all, it is 236 years old. And here is a recipe:
■ Bake any cake you want, and let it cool completely. (I use a boxed white cake mix.)
■ Once cool, poke holes in the cake with the end of a fork, but don’t go all the way through to the bottom of the cake.
■ Make any flavor Jell-O mix as directed on the box. Pour the liquid over the cake. Cool completely.
■ Top with whipped cream and decorate like the American flag using blueberries and raspberries or strawberries.
■ Add “cool” factor with birthday candles and decorations that look like sparklers because that will be the extent of personal fireworks this year.
3. Be bold in red, white and blue.
The color combination of red, white and blue not only represents the United States, it also represents a classic color palette worn separately or color blocked.
White remains the coolest color around, literally, because it reflects the sun’s rays. It also is cool because it is a blank to splash any color (i.e. red and/or blue) against. Bold prints are fashionable this summer. Get even bolder and wear red lipstick or paint your fingernails or toenails bright red — or blue. It is cool in 2012.
4. Play a perfect playlist.
Great music is made around the world, but use the Fourth of July to celebrate all that is cool about American music. Put together a playlist for a backyard barbecue, family reunion or a “cool” trip to the pool.
Among the most iconic American musicians are: the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, the Eagles, Madonna, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley and Bruce Springsteen.
(Side note: Springsteen’s 17th studio album, “Wrecking Ball,” and Madonna’s 12th studio album, “MDNA,” were released in March. The Beach Boys released its first studio album of new material in more than 20 years, “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” in early June. Be cool with all this new music.)
5. Love a parade.
Head to a parade, where children can wave at fire trucks and adults can wave at politicians. Besides, parades are cool places to thank veterans, wear patriotic colors and wave American flags.
It just so happens that there are several parades in western Colorado to enjoy on July Fourth. Grand Junction’s parade begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, with the theme “Celebrating our Independence.” Look for more parades and celebrations in the Out & About Calendar.
6. Batter up.
The arrival of the Grand Junction Rockies means locals can enjoy a summer local outing to the diamond and the chance to see a future star. How cool.
The Rockies have home games Tuesday through Monday, July 3–9, including a home game at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, at Suplizio Field.
The Fourth of July game also happens to be a Wienerschnitzel Wednesday, meaning all hot dogs are $1. The fireworks display that was set to follow the game is canceled.
7. I scream, you scream.
Children 12 and younger can show their patriotism by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance from memory for a free ice cream cone from 4–6 p.m. on the four Fridays in July at Enstrom Candies, 701 Colorado Ave. The promotion is part of a nationwide effort to encourage patriotism among children. Very cool.
8. Read up on your history.
It doesn’t get much more patriotic than reading the Declaration of Independence from beginning to end since it is the document that sparked the Fourth of July celebration. It really isn’t that long. The Declaration writers didn’t mince words and made no apologies for what they thought we the people deserve.
Find the Declaration of Independence at http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/ or at the Mesa County Library.
Read your copy under a shade tree or next to a fan for a cooler experience.
9. Chant: U-S-A, U-S-A.
The Olympics are one of the world’s grandest stages for displays of patriotism. Plus, they are cool to watch.
The 2012 Summer Olympics begin Friday, July 27, with the Opening Ceremonies on NBC. (Technically, the soccer tournament begins a few days before.)
Throw a patriotic-themed viewing party during the games to coincide with your favorite sports or athletes. Check local listings in Out & About as the Olympics get closer for a look at when the Games will be on, so you can better plan your party.
10. Watch a patriotic movie.
If it’s too hot outside, stay indoors and put on a patriotic flick. There are many choices sure to please. Here are a few in order of release from newest to oldest:
■ “Act of Valor” (2012)
■ “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)
■ “Miracle” (2004)
■ “Saving Private Ryan” (1998)
■ “Independence Day” (1996)
■ “Rocky IV” (1985)
■ “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942)
■ “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939)