- I been a professional photographer since I worked for the US Government documenting Test and Evaluation of Research and Development projects for the US Army and US Navy in the later half of the 1980s. I came home to Maine to finish my Marketing Degree at USM and began to work full time in Market Research and Marketing for many years while documenting weddings and occasional photojournalist and commercial jobs on the weekends. In 2001 I again returned to photography as a full time trade and have never been a happier man. I love working with creative individuals, couples, small businesses and select Non-Profits and can’t imagine working in any other trade. In 1987 I was lucky enough to wed my high school sweetheart and we now live in a cozy little solar powered, recycled bungalow a mile deep in our woods in the Western Hills of Maine with our two brilliant home-schooled teenage daughters and our three cats.
PAW 2005 - Wk 27 - Independence Day
Forth of July, Independence Day celebrations in a small town are pretty much the same throughout the USA I think.
For Beth, it is mostly about the parade to see all the horses and for Nick it is about trying to catch the candy that the kids of the volunteer firefighters who are riding on their dad's (and sometimes mom's) firetrucks are throwing out into the crowd and when it is hot (like this year was) trying to get sprayed with water from the jerrycan pumps that the same kids are spraying out into the crowds (right behind the candy.)
When I was in Highschool (this was now over 20 years ago) the schools always had the bands march in the parades out of civic pride...Now, most of the money for extra curricular activities goes to sports and the bands are very poorly funded so the only 'marching' band in our area of note is the Town Band...
(Best to leave actually marching for 'kids'... It is a pretty long walk when you are blowing a horn and most of the abulances in the area were in the parades as floats!)
Sadly, it seems that as Memorial Day these days is looked at as mostly a holiday from work, the meaning behind Independence Day is lost in the celebration of it as well. We have forgotten that almost 230 years ago a bunch of rich landed white guys put their heads together and their lives and fortunes on the line and came up with a new idea for self government that revolved around the Individual, not around the collective. (A notion which we've mostly been ignoring ever since.) Yes, they seemed to think that only other rich white guys with land were in need of Liberty, but the basic premise that they set down makes most sense when applied to everyone. I think it would do us a world of good (and the world a world of good) if we would stop paying lip service to the notion of 'partiotism' and actually read and absorbed Jefferson's words and think about how they are still relevent in many ways these two centuries plus later...Thomas wrote:
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Now, most of the time, we stop there because that is all very nice, warm, American & apple pie sounding but we need to remember the more important part of the introduction to the littany of abuses that the British subjects in America were suffering and the solution that they proposed. It is the following that we are actually celebrating on the 4th of every July...
...That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Happy Birthday America. May you have many many more.
(Nikon D2h, 24-120VR...PhotoShop tinted for an 'Old Post Card' look.)