SOMETHING WORTH CELEBRATING
When I was growing up in Pennsylvania, my family always hosted a big Fourth of July party for friends and family. In truth, it was a combined celebration, both for Independence Day and my brother’s birthday, which landed on the seventh. My parents figured it was easier to host one big barbecue than organize two parties within a week of each other. My brother didn’t mind; after all, how many kids could say they had fireworks at their birthday party? REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOUR INDEPENDENCE DAY LOOKS LIKE, IT’S IMPORTANT TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND REMEMBER HOW FORTUNATE WE ARE TO LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE THE VALUES OF LIBERTY, EQUALITY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS ARE FOUNDATIONAL TO WHO WE ARE. Thankfully, we had a big backyard to host everyone. Our house was on an acre of land, which ran down to the Delaware River, just 10 miles south of where General Washington made his famed crossing in 1766. In many ways, it was the perfect spot for a Fourth of July celebration.
Of course, living in La Jolla these past 23 years has certainly given my childhood Independence Day celebrations a run for their money. We may not have a historic river running through our backyard, but the nationally renowned Fourth of July parade runs right past our front door every year. Despite garnering more and more national attention over the years, I’m happy to say the parade itself has maintained its local DIY feel. It’s very much still a neighborhood event at heart. If you’ve ever been to that morning march through La Jolla, you know it’s quite the sight! People in costumes and homemade floats line the streets, and the whole neighborhood is decorated in wild themes. We even won “best decorated house” one year. I believe the theme was Dr. Seuss that time. Taking a page from my childhood, we end up inviting plenty of family and friends over every year to celebrate with us. We typically have people over for breakfast, then make our way outside to enjoy the parade. Eventually we make our way down to the block party at the end of the street and do our best not to get too sunburned before the fireworks erupt over La Jolla Cove.
here in San Diego, the few things that stay constant are the ideals I celebrate every Fourth. Regardless of what your Independence Day looks like, it’s important to take a step back and remember how fortunate we are to live in a country where the values of liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness are foundational to who we are. As a lawyer, I get to see these ideals in action almost every day. Under the legal system created by the Constitution, making mistakes doesn’t lead people to dead ends. Being accused of a crime or negligence does not make you a bad person, and our laws account for that. Of course, the system is far from ideal. While Lady Justice is meant to be blind, there are still plenty of institutional biases we have yet to overcome. The silver lining is that we live in a democracy with the freedom to engage in civil discourse and to work constantly toward those ideals we celebrate every year.
Happy Independence Day,
From my childhood celebrations on the Delaware River to our current traditions
Law Office of Elliott Kanter APC | (619) 231-1883
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