Happy Independence Day!The Fourth of July is a difficult holiday to celebrate on your own -- especially when you're not just in a foreign country, but in the country America gained independence from. Any small commemorations I try have a hint of Passover about them: Next year, in Cleveland.
So far my contribution this year has been to make cookies with the U.S. map-shaped cookie cutter my mother-in-law got me on her last trip to Washington. Unfortunately, the U.S., with its irregular edge and jutting-out bits, is not an easy shape to get off the cookie sheet intact. Sometimes regions unexpectedly seceded; other times the entire nation shattered at the nudge of a spatula. If George W. Bush had been watching, he would probably have proposed a new constitutional amendment.
Speaking of which, there is one other thing I can do to commemorate this day: read our Declaration of Independence and Consititution. (That link is to the original text of the Constitution; the Bill of Rights, with a link to later amendments, is here.) I think it would be a good idea if all Americans read these documents today, to reflect on why our country was founded and what it might be in future.