Hello my name is Sarah, and I’m a British citizen. For years I had mixed feelings about celebrating the Fourth of July with my American boyfriend/fiance/husband. Thinking it would be disrespectful of me, to both countries, to celebrate, I would go back and forth between abstaining and reveling. I would think “It’s not my holiday;” but then neither is Thanksgiving and I embraced that. It celebrates kicking my people out of the country; but that was so long ago. Of course as an American Studies major I would try to look on it analytically, studying how “these people” and “their patriotism” were similar to the jingoistic British Empire, how their reactions to this day were anachronistic.
These days I take it and myself far less seriously. I am gently ribbed by friends about being English, I poke back with a witty retort about unloading our Yankee burdens, it’s all in good fun. Much is mentioned of tea parties. These days, we spend the Fourth by the lake with friends, eating good food and watching fireworks. It is subdued and, like most holidays, it is generally celebrated as a time to come together with those we love. At this time of year we are also aware and thankful for the freedom to celebrate as we wish. For me then, the holiday is less about what happened all those years ago between England and America, and about freedom; the opportunities I am granted to live long, and prosper.