Lifting up the 4th of July
by The Opportunity Agenda, Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 12:40:51 PM EDT
Fireworks on the 4th of July always make me cry. I'm not affraid to say it. There's something about it, all the senses are activated as an idea--what once was the dream of a few revolutionaires--plays itself out in vivid colors and exsplosive bursts right before you.
This year, my wife and I planted ourselves on the stone path between Pier 17 and Pier 11, right in front of one of the Macy's barges, lucking out that this year they decided to move them further down the East River, making the end of Wall Street a perfect location to watch the fireworks. What made the event more impressive was the rich diversity that surrounded us, reminding me why New York City is such a special place to experience the 4th of July.
For many of the families around us, America was as new as it was for Abigail Adams and her family, as she watched the cannon balls fly over Boston Harbor while her husband was away. Opportunity and freedom were new on the horizon, like the flash of powder ignited in the distance seconds before the sky explodes with life. Hearing families share their excitement in Korean, Russian, French, Spanish and Mandarin seemed fitting, as we all huddled along the Manhattan shoreline between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of liberty. The 4th of July is full of traditions, and I think I've found a new place to celebrate for years to come.
Another great thing I gravitated toward this weekend was the new web site, 1,000 Voices Archive a project of the Creative Council. This web site is a perfect mirror into the american experience, presenting videos of Americans who have been touched by communities. It's a wonderful snapshot into the diversity of our nation, both in ethnicity and experience. Strongly recommend it for those looking to continue celebrating this holiday weekend. It gives a real feel of America and has a bunch of engaging tools that allow us to become involved in the America that is more than ideas and fire works.