Why I’m Not Celebrating the Fourth of July

Bravery. Honor. Freedom. Hope. The American flag used to be a symbol of all these things. The fireworks displayed over the Capitol used to be a celebration of the brave service men and women, who fight for our freedoms every day. The Fourth of July used to be a celebration of our independence and the ideals we represent. 

Under the current administration, the sense of pride myself and many others once had for the United States and our previously held ideals have dimmed. It’s hard to celebrate a nation that allows for children to be torn from their parents and kept under inhumane conditions at the border. It’s hard to celebrate a nation that rallies around a president who has been accused of sexual misconduct on more than 24 accounts, including rape. It’s hard to celebrate a nation that elected a man that has demonstrated time and time again he does not care about women, he does not care about immigrants, he does not care about minorities and does not truly care about the American people. 

Trump has diverted $2.5 million from the National Park Service to help fund his already extravagant “Salute to America.”  Make no mistake, the only thing Donald Trump will be saluting is himself and his political agenda. With tanks on the national mall and flyovers by the Blue Angels, Trump is getting the military spectacle he’s so desperately wanted since he attended France’s 2017 Bastille Day Celebration.  

To those who would argue this is still a nonpartisan event: Trump snubbed the Democratic National Committee by only giving the Republican National Committee VIP tickets to the event. Salute to America is shaping up to be a face-off between protestors and Trump supporters as the once nonpartisan event has turned into a stop on the campaign trail. 

I won’t be celebrating the Fourth of July again until I can be proud of the direction we’re headed in as a county. Until we’re upholding the values we were founded on. Until we have a president I can put my faith in, one that won’t tarnish the integrity of the nation by turning everything into a political sideshow.