Thursday, July 2, 2009
We Have a LOT to Celebrate!
I ran across something interesting recently. Did you know there really was an Uncle Sam?
It seems that after serving as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, Sam Wilson began a meatpacking business in Troy, NY. Known for his honesty, common sense and friendliness, everyone in town called him Uncle Sam. When the War of 1812 broke out, Sam became a supplier of meat to the Army.
One day, a reporter writing about the war efforts visited the Wilson butchery. There he noticed that all the barrels of beef were stamped with the initials "US". When he inquired as to what the initials stood for, a clerk told him, "Why, that's for Uncle Sam, of course".
Very soon, the story of the army's "Uncle Sam" began appearing in newspapers all across the country and the association caught on as everything the army used, from cannonballs to blankets, was referred to as "Uncle Sam's".
One of the most satisfying elements about celebrating the Fourth of July as a family holiday is that even if our personal experience varies - if we are barbecuing on the beach or the patio of an apartment building or enjoying a brass band concert in front of a village bandstand - it doesn't really matter.
We think this is because when, as a nation of individuals, we come together with family and friends to celebrate Independence Day, it's more than the birthday of a country. For what we really celebrate in our hearts is the birthday of an idea and, like our forefathers, a deeply personal vision of contentment.
We really do have a great deal to celebrate, don't you agree? For where else is there a nation that sets aside one day a year to exalt life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
How do you celebrate the Fourth of July?
excerpts taken from Sarah Ben Breathnach's Traditions