We remember important first events - the first time you met the person who will become your significant other, the first words and first steps of your growing child. We also remember important last events - the last time you visited your alma mater, the last time you spoke with a dying parent.
Some events, though, are taken for granted - we don't correctly identify the importance of an event until after it happened - so we remember neither the first nor the last time they occurred.
For example, my ex significant other and I always used to drive at least an hour to some random small town just to have pizza for dinner. The particular town or restaurant didn't matter - all small towns have good local Italian restaurants. What mattered is that we did this together, and that we enjoyed it. It was such a simple thing, and neither of us at the time realized how important those weekly outings were. For that reason, I cannot tell you the name of the town or restaurant we first ate at. I thought these road trips would go on forever, and now that he and I are separated, I can't remember the last place we went to. All I know is that there was a first town and restaurant and a last town and restaurant, and that there will be no more such road trips.
The same goes with holidays, Independence Day in particular. I have a childhood memory of my first fireworks show: the symmetry of the explosions, the three-dimensionality of the trails of sparks, how the bursts looked like flowers, only loud! At the time I didn't know why there were fireworks on that day, the Fourth of July, but I knew that that day must be important.
Years and years later, I also recall the last fireworks show I attended, which was in 2010. In the time between the first fireworks show and that last one, I became extremely averse to their sounds as well as to crowds. This may sound stupid, but there it is.
In an attempt to cure myself of this, I attended the 2010 Fourth of July celebration at a beach town in Maryland. I arrived very early, found a place on the beach as close as possible to the fireworks launcher, laid back on my towel, stretched my arms out, and watched. By the end, I was tired from the conscious effort needed not to move, and my hands were sore from grabbing the sand and towel for dear life! As I returned to my car, several strangers on the boardwalk asked if I was OK. I wasn't, but it didn't matter, for I made it through the whole thing.
This brings us to the Fourth of July 2020. Most large fireworks displays were cancelled because of the China Flu. Even if they weren't canceled, the meaning of Independence Day has changed for some Americans. Instead of being a time to celebrate our freedom, for them it has become an occasion to disparage our country.
There are three groups of people doing this.
First, there are the gay rights activists. They claim that homophobia exists, but to justify this they must add letters to what used to be only LGB. In doing so, they drop the idea that what makes a gay person gay is who he or she is attracted to, and replace it with an "assigned gender preference." They elevate fetishes to the status of sexual orientation. They also make a lack of self-awareness into an orientation, calling such people "transgender," "non-binary," "questioning," "pansexual," or "gender fluid". Further, some of them are attempting to normalize pedophilia, saying that the adult participants in this are "minor-attracted people" and trying to add a second "P" to the ever-growing initialism of non-cis-heterosexual "orientations".
Instead of "LGBTTQQIAAP," activists should save time and letters just by using "ABS" - anybody but straight.
With each letter added to "LGB" and each color added to the rainbow flag, someone claims a victory. But victories are meaningless when the opposition is negligible and the cost of losing is nonexistent.
If they want a true victory, these so-called activists should attempt to end the lawful execution of gays in Muslim countries. But they won't even try, since they are convinced that all cultures must be respected.
Then there is the Black Lives Matter movement, which is composed either of guilty white liberals or people looking for any opportunity to loot and burn. Black lives matter to them as long as it is a black man who was killed by a white cop, or if the black in question votes for the Democrats.
Of course there was slavery, but we fought a war to end it. The people who claim racism still exists are the same ones rewriting the history of the Civil War and destroying monuments describing that war. BLM continues to fight a war that ended in 1865 while completely ignoring the fact that slavery is still common in Africa and that there is an active slave trade in the Arab world.
Finally, there are the socialists calling themselves Antifa. They despise capitalism while living off their parents' trust funds and organizing their permanent revolution by using capitalist-made computers, all while enjoying overpriced coffee at Starbucks.
These modern-day Trotskyites operate in a logical and historical vacuum, ignoring the mass genocides that occurred in the countries governed by the very leaders that Antifa idolizes, all while favorably comparing themselves to American D-Day troops.
The commonality to these groups is that their members don't know how good they have it, and they have to invent nonexistent enemies to aggrandize their otherwise unremarkable lives. They are fueled by a vacuous education system, encouraged by their over-indulgent parents, enabled by left-wing politicians and judges, and operate unopposed by spineless cuckservastives.
The people doing this denigration are either ignorant of our history or were taught a straw-man version of history. We're the country that built the Transcontinental Railroad in only six years. We conquered the Axis Powers in under six years. We landed men on the Moon nine years after Kennedy set the direction. We've cured diseases, invented technologies, raised the standard of living for everybody. We're the ones who coined the term "self-made man," and many of us live that American dream.
These same people who deprecate this country have the whole world in their pockets, literally, either in iPhone or Android format. Yet the best they can do is defecate in their own kitchens.
Given all this, one must wonder if the July Fourth that ended a few hours ago is indeed the last Independence Day we'll see that hasn't been eviscerated of content and celebrated only out of habit.
While all the local fireworks shows were cancelled, some individuals at nearby apartment complexes decided to have their own shows. This is American at its best - private individuals taking up the slack left by our spineless representatives. I went to one of these apartment complex shows; while the crowds weren't very big, the noises were still nerve wracking. For if this is to be the last real Fourth of July, I want to experience it, and I want it to hurt.