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Independence Day 2013

Posted by on July 3, 2013

As a kid growing up in a very different America than what we have today, my very favorite holiday was always The 4th of July.  Note I don’t call it Independence Day.  Despite herculean efforts on the part of my parents, teachers and sundry wizened old farts who tried to teach us kids what the occasion really marked each year, my crowd simply saw it as a red letter day during which we were least likely to catch hell for raising hell.

School was out, the weather was toasty, people gathered to eat, drink and relax while watching spectacular fireworks displays.  And what was the purpose, the meaning and the history behind those dazzling displays that flooded local parks with great clouds of cordite fumes and gunpowder residue?  Who cared?  This was a singular time of year; noise was tolerated, bedlam reigned out of sight and reach of workaday adult supervision. No amount of lecturing or speechifying about the importance of the day in our national history ever put a damper on our liberty to run, play, sweat, scream and randomly gorge ourselves at picnic tables without fear of repercussion much beyond half-hearted warnings not to damage each other too badly.

As anyone who has survived long enough to become an adult in America knows, age has a sobering effect and some of us even moderate our behavior as we grow older.  Along the way from unfettered hellion to grumpy adult we become more educated, by osmosis and life experience if not in more formal fashion.  We still have picnics and gawp at fireworks but there’s a different perspective to 4th of July celebrations. Some of us come to understand the celebrations are designed to mark the birth of a great nation and that we are blessed to be citizens of same.  Those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up in a time when subjects like Civics and American History were pivotal parts of American education actually read the Declaration of Independence signed by representatives of the original thirteen colonies on 4 July 1776.  Some of us were even required to memorize those immortal words that define our American character.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”

Those are powerful words expressing timeless ideals.  They define us…or should do so as we claw and scratch our way into the future.  I like to think those words mark us as a special nation composed of special people who inherently understand concepts such as inalienable rights, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  And I think it will be the concepts expressed in those words that will eventually defeat aberrant definitions applied to them by the PC-Nazis and social manipulators among us.  Those are the grumpy adults ordering us not to celebrate the 4th of July with firecrackers…and if we do, to refer to them as fire-Caucasians to avoid being racist or exclusionary.

There’s enough of the little hellion remaining in me to defy that.  In the spirit of our founding fathers on this Independence Day 2013, I’ll just re-read the words of our Declaration of Independence.  And I’ll do it with bombs bursting in air and by the rocket’s red glare.

6 Responses to Independence Day 2013

  1. Mic Brewer

    Refreshing to hear the voice of one who grasps the genesis and meaning of a pure patriot.
    Semper Fidelis.

  2. Frank Dermody

    My favorite holiday as a kid was Christmas. Nevertheless, I always enjoyed the 4th of July when my Irish immigrant dad would get drunk while making bbq in the backyard. My late dad loved America!

  3. Robin Mcewenq

    Hiya Dale
    I live in the UK and I’m a big fan of your work. I enjoy the blogs too. I like the old-style simplicity. I agree with much of what you say. Like many people derided for being ‘traditional’, I share the traditional values you espouse and lament their absence in our ‘modern’ world.
    Keep up the good work, Captain Garza!

  4. James A. Hiemstra

    Captain Dale Dye sir! First let me say I thank you for your excellent service to this great nation! SemperFi!! Also growing up I never knew about you at all watching movies with you in them but I always noticed you played a lot of military roles and the way you seemed so natural about doing it I had to Google you to find out!! And sure enough! There it was!! USMC!! But I do have to ask. Looking at your extensive movie and TV career I noticed that Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind wasn’t on that list! We’re you on that movie even momentarily? The part where the soldiers are going up Devils Tower searching for the “escapees” I could swear to God himself that was you as the radio operator! He even had your very distinctive voice and mustache! Was it you?

    • David (Brokenhorn) Rangel

      I am a big fan of your work. I have 4 Uncles who faught in WW2 and Korea, 2 of them are still living. My uncle Sammy was in the 1st Marine division on Guadalcanal and Peleliu. I belong to the Northwest Historical Association, along with veterans from Viet Nam, Desert Storm and Afghanistan. I would be very interested in being in one of your films as an extra, I am in very good shape and have my own gear. There has not been a really good movie about the Korean War come from the U.S. and it would be an honor to be a part of one of your movies.To view the Northwest Historical Association in action, go to I enjoy your movies because you tell the truth! David 541.937.4335

  5. Jeff Santen

    I’m 65 now. The biggest regret of my life was not serving my Country in uniform! My Father served on the USS PRESIDENT HAYES, APA20, and my Grandfather in C.B.M.U. 521 during WW II. 4 of my Dad’s cousins served in the Army in Europe, and 1 in the USN during WW II. My Uncle seved in the USN 1950-1954. My Oldest Brother served in the U.S.M.C. In Vietnam 67-70, 2/26 Marines. My other older Brother served in the 82nd Airborne 1968-1970. And my younger Brother served in the USMC and USN for over 20 years, including a tour of duty in Iraq during Desert Storm. His Son seved in the USMC in Afghanistan! I’ve buried 7 of my friends who were Vietnam Vets! I’m very proud of them all! They were all Dedicated, and Motivated! Be Well.

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