Fourth celebrates democracy at its finest

The Fourth of July is one of the most festive and fun holidays to celebrate.

Firmly planted in the middle of summer, it’s an ideal time to get together with family and friends.

Any excuse to throw a barbecue, right? Who doesn’t enjoy grilling those all-American summer foods: hamburgers and hot dogs accompanied by delicious side dishes such as homemade potato salad and coleslaw and decadent desserts such as homemade apple pie and ice cream.

And with fewer obligations from schools for families — as well as work because so many people have families — it’s easy to plan an extended vacation to visit faraway relatives or to see the sights.

With the exception of those scorching days in the desert where temperatures hit 110 degrees or higher, the sunshine beckons us to spend time outdoors.

Here in Boulder City, the Fourth is a fabulous day. Starting with pancakes in the park early in the morning, the day is one giant celebration complete with a parade, fun and games, class reunions, entertainment, plenty of food and beverages and, of course, fireworks. It’s truly a “Damboree” good time.

I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

It exemplifies the celebrations foreseen by our nation’s Founding Fathers. On July 2, 1776, the day the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, John Adams wrote his wife that the day would be celebrated by succeeding generations with “Pomp and Parade … Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

The Fourth is also an easy holiday to support. As Americans it brings out our patriotic spirit. Red, white and blue is everywhere, and flags fly proudly.

Unlike other holidays, for the most part it is hard to associate it with bad memories There are no former or lost loves/unfulfilled relationships that many think of on Valentine’s Day. There are no people recalling deceased parents or those who want to become parents but cannot as on Mother’s or Father’s day. There are no controversial wars that bring to mind the valiant soldiers who gave their all as on Memorial Day.

The day is strictly for celebrating our nation’s independence and democracy.

This year the Fourth of July will be especially poignant for Boulder City residents.

The true spirit of democracy — where people help mold their government by electing representatives that value their beliefs — was clearly evident in last month’s race for City Council and the resounding defeat of a ballot issue that would alter the controlled-growth ordinance.

Our two new councilmen were sworn in Tuesday night and will help shape the city’s direction and policies for at least the next four years.

It sounds very similar to what our nation experienced in those early years as people protested England’s rule over the Colonies. The nation’s new leaders created laws and policies that reflected their constituents and their desires for how they wanted to live as Americans in the United States.

No one knows for certain where our city will be next year or how the people’s votes will be interpreted into policy or procedure. We do, however, know how the city will look: festive. And we know the sun will shine, there will be barbecues and pancakes, a parade and parties in the park for this generation and for those to come.

Happy Fourth of July.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at or at 702-586-9523.

Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Add Event