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Happy Independence Day

Each year on this date I try to find an image that captures America in a nutshell (here are the ones from 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008). The one I’ve chosen this year shows four girls who wore simulated blood and gunshot wounds, similar to what you’d see in a movie, as part of a recent practice drill to help students and first responders prepare for a mass-shooting event at a Long Island school.

People may disagree on the issues surrounding school shootings, but I think we can all agree that it’s pretty horrifying that we’ve reached the point where kids have to take part in this type of exercise, even as a simulation. The photo also seems to capture the larger state of our nation — scarred, injured, toxic, unsure of how to move forward. Again, we may disagree on the details, but I’m pretty sure most of us think things are pretty messed up and getting worse. And who will inherit this messed-up world we’re creating? Kids like these girls.

Sorry, I realize that’s a downer. But the photo really captured a bunch of feelings I’ve been having lately.

And yet: Today is Independence Day, which remains a cause for celebration. Please accept my best wishes for a happy holiday. I’ll be busy today but the comments are open, so feel free to chat among yourselves. If you have a few minutes, I heartily recommend reading the Declaration of Independence, whose ratification is what we’re celebrating today. (Here’s a typeset version, in case you can’t decipher the handwriting.)

If you’re traveling today, travel safe. If you’re playing with pyrotechnics, don’t pull a Jason Pierre-Paul. If you’re working, thanks for keeping the world spinning while the rest of us get to enjoy a day off. And if you’re spending the day in the company of a Britisher, kindly pass along my annual Independence Day rallying cry: In your face, Redcoats!Paul

Comments (26)

    A Happy and Joyous Celebration of our nation’s Day of Independence. Here is a hope, thought, prayer, idea, or whatever you might call it, that we see ourselves as one people going forward with grace, kindness, respect and understanding. We can always strive to be better, do better and make this world a better place to call home. Happy 4th of July!

    I hit that sweet spot of going to school after nuclear bomb drills and before active shooter drills.

    Everyone celebrate safely!

    I did not. Went to school during bomb drill era. Still taught school from Columbine snd beyond. Lots of ducking. Lots of hiding.

    I went to Dept. of Defense schools overseas after the Duck & Cover era, but each year in the Philippines and Okinawa, ordnance disposal experts would come to the school to warn us about picking up weapons left over from WW2.

    And back in the States in ’81, we had an active shooter situation on campus and had to leave our classrooms.

    You’re sorry the picture for this 4th is a downer, I hope THAT’S the WORST thing that happens today…

    Welp, sadly it wasn’t. The picture of the chairs left in place at the parade after people ran for their lives during the shooting could easily have been the image on this post had it been made a few hours later.

    It’s not a photo I would have chosen, but I can’t argue with your personal feelings. God bless you and God bless America.

    File under soccer:

    The New England Revolution of Major League Soccer wore stars and stripes numerals for last night’s game against FC Cincinnati.

    Wang Chi:
    Here’s to the Army and Navy and the battles they have won; here’s to America’s colors, the colors that never run.

    Jack Burton:
    May the wings of liberty never lose a feather.

    “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

    Unfortunately, it seems to be “everyone for themselves, God be damned” 246 years later…

    You could have put a picture of that Padres City Connect uniform. That is a way worse statement on today’s society that the girls in a shooter drill!

    Happy Independence Day all!

    And in Uni news: the tv broadcast for the Guardians Tigers game is talking about how awful the 4th of July hats are in the second inning. :-)

    Wore them for both ends of a Double Header – but they only talked about it in the first game, second inning. (yeah, yeah, adverb phrase order, yada yada)

    Probably the second best bags song, what a classic. my old band covered it at some UK shows, it was greatly appreciated

    Oh wow that lead picture says it all for you living in the United States, please be safe.

    Please MLB stop ruining uniforms on holidays. The Mets set tonight looks atrocious. Ditto for so many others- check out San Diego.

    Good luck with that!
    By now MLB ruining uniforms on holidays is ingrained as tradition.

    Holy shit! The Bags! I didn’t realize your musical tastes ran so deep & chaotic Paul.
    Its funny bc I was just listening to some obscure old LA punk myself. Auntie Christ was Exene & DJ from the band X with Matt from Rancid on bass.


    Back in the mid 80’s in boy shouts we took part in disaster drills with full moulage. Broken bones, gunshots, axe wounds, teh whole gamut. No big deal.

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