The 2012 Fourth of July

This year’s Esplanade Fourth of July celebration will likely be one of the largest in recent years. The combination of great music and fireworks, hundreds of thousands of people joining together and entertainment beyond compare – and all of this free to the public – makes the annual celebration something to behold.

In the North End, there will be enormous crowds as well of tourists. The neighborhood will be absolutely packed leading into the holiday.

The holiday is just a few days away but with the recent summer heat and flags waving nearly everywhere, there is the palpable feeling that Independence Day is near.

In the North End, Independence Day is never just another day – not with Paul Revere watching over all of us in the park and with the church that held the lantern’s shining in the night.

It will be a thoughtful day for many of those passing through our neighborhood. Nearly everything about our lives has changed a bit since the 2008 economic collapse which brought the nation nearly to its knees. American democracy remains our shining light around the world.

But this year’s celebration remains tempered by the millions of Americans who remain without jobs and by the millions more young people who collectively owe more than $1 trillion for their college loans. These are not mere inconveniences. These are real time, enormous national problems. And there are many more of them.

Job creation is among them. How do we create more jobs? How do we kick-start the ailing economy so it comes back to what it was?

It does not appear that either President Barack Obama or the Republican candidate former governor Mitt Romney knows the way to economic recovery. If the president knew, he would already have acted. If Romney acted as he says he will, there would be no American car industry and an additional 500,000 out of work. With Europe now sinking into recession, America is again put on notice to be aware; what happens in Europe and around the world effects the American economy.

But it is July 4 – a time to celebrate; a time to count our blessings; a time for all of us to understand and to take pride in the fact that it is the United States of America that remains the world’s great hope – not China, not Russia, not India.

During this, the 236th year of American Independence, we remain the pre-eminent power on this earth.

Our economy may be struggling and as a people we may appear to be politically divided(which we are) but we remain inevitably, irrevocably, Americans.

Modern Americans live by the creed that we are all created equal, that everyone is equal before the law, that all men, women and children in this convulsing society of ours can have their golden moment under the sun if they work hard and smart for what it is they are seeking out of their lives.

The promise of America remains whole on this coming July 4.

There are many questions and they abound and resonate throughout the land.

But America is whole and the promise is alive.

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