Four Thoughts on this 4th of July

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1. Many people — mostly Americans — equate this day with freedom. That is understandable. It is a day of many symbols and freedom was very much an idea that was espoused by the Founding Fathers. Hence, the Bill of Rights.

However, to me, this day is really about sacrifice. We enjoy the many freedoms that we have today because of the sacrifice that people before us undertook. The early settlers, the Revolutionaries, the civil rights activists, my parents, their parents, the servicemen and women that serve our country now… and many other people around the world who engage tirelessly to do good, noble work.

2. The Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest. This might be the furthest thing on the minds of the Founding Fathers. Joey Chestnut scarfed down 61 hotdogs in 10 minutes. I’m not sure if the entire Germany soccer team could eat that many franks. And if you need reminding of what hotdogs are really made of, read this.

3. While I enjoy fireworks in controlled environments, I am not a fan of unruly neighbors lighting off dangerous explosives in the backyard. The Constitution protects many rights of the citizens, but stupidity isn’t one of them. That’s where Darwin comes in.

4. Benjamin Franklin is by far my favorite Founder. He was a polymath. He did it all and he did it all well. He’s on the hundred dollar bill, where he deservingly belongs. He was the “First American.” In fact, he was an American, advocating for the colonies and defining the American ideals, before there was formally an America. He had wit and charm in abundance. And he was smart enough to never have held any major political office. If he was alive now, he would be great on Twitter.