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Opinion: Broaden celebration of independence


Paul W. Smith  |  The Detroit News

“Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’”

It seems like I’ve heard the booms of more fireworks this year earlier than ever before.

Then it struck me that Independence Day has taken on a special, broader meaning this year. Some of our fellow Americans started celebrating their independence June 19, also known as Juneteenth. Maybe they always have and some of us just hadn’t noticed. I have a feeling we will from this day forward. And that would be a good and proper recognition. Others have been waiting for our traditional celebration this Saturday on the Fourth of July.

If you think about it, the celebration and the sound of amateur fireworks have been rocking our neighborhoods earlier and earlier, since the confusing on again, off again legalization of pyrotechnics.

What do you think about this?

From Juneteenth to July 4, we join together to celebrate every American’s independence!

After all, it’s truly a significant enough time in our American history that could use a 16-day celebration and educational opportunity for us all, to refresh our knowledge of our important heritage and the birth of our country.

And what good timing as we have been facing this pandemic independently, but we do know we are in this together and we really are not alone.

Before the argument arises that July 4 is historically our only independence day, I remind us all that John Adams wrote on July 3, 1776, that July 2 would be recognized as our anniversary, while the official signing event took place on Aug. 2, 1776, with the final signature inked in January of 1777.

I believe this gives us a little historic wiggle room to bring all Americans together once and for all.

Paul W. Smith is host of “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.