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Independence Day(s)


Roaming around YouTube the other evening I ran across the clip from The Newsroom where Jeff Daniels, in response to a question, rattles off a list of countries which have freedom. It wasn’t a complete list, of course, there are over 190 recognized countries in the world. After a quick review of several different web sources, it looks like almost every country achieved independence (national freedom, if you will) from another. And so, the question … Which other countries celebrate an Independence Day? Independence from whom? And for how long? We’ll have our 250th celebration in a few years, many others still haven’t made the century mark. Here’s a short list of countries which also celebrate their independence during the month of July …


Burundi celebrates Independence Day on 1 July, from Belgium, 1962, after a UN Resolution.


Canada celebrates Canada Day, also on the 1st, commemorating the establishment of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.


Philippines celebrates Republic Day on 4 July, gaining independence form the U.S. in 1946.


Cape Verde became independent from Portugal in 1975, and celebrates Independence Day on the 5th.


The Solomon Islands’ 7th July Independence Day celebration recognizes their independence from the United Kingdom, 1978.


The Argentine Declaration of Independence of 9 July 1816 separated Argentina from the Spanish Empire.


235 years earlier, The Netherlands Declaration of Independence of 26 July 1581 separated the Netherlands from the Spanish Empire. Infantry on ice skates! What a bold plan!


The effective date of The Bahamas Independence Order 1973 is celebrated as Independence Day on 10th July.



In the U.S. it’s a day of parades and fireworks across the country. Not so everywhere else ….


Finland’s political, societal and diplomatic elite attend a televised ball at the presidential palace. Part of the fun seems to be watch the introduction of guests to the president and guessing why the pecking order is the way it is. It may have something to do with the way the women are dressed.


France includes Fireman’s Balls in the day’s events. The fire stations set up a dance floor, bar, chow line, and crank up the music.


In India, it’s tricolor kites (a symbol of freedom) flown by adults … who sometimes act as children, trying to knock their neighbor’s kite out of the sky.


Indonesia celebrates with community events and games … the most favorite is the oiled palm tree climbing event.


The South Korean government, with a most broad-minded interpretation of freedom, gives special pardons to prisoners.


For me, no parades, fireworks or picnics. Most of the 4th of July is like any other day in retirement. I spend some time early in the morning, though, reflecting on the men and women who served to make our independence a reality. Over 230,000 served in the Continental Army; 3,500 served in the Navy and Marines. One of the members of the Continental Army was Morris Barto, 8 generations back along my dad’s side of the family. I take the time to thank him for his service, and thank him again for the country he helped establish.


Be well and stay safe.


Gordon

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