Letter to the editor: A suggestion for celebrating the 4th of July


The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce has canceled the traditional 4th of July parade, as per the Governor’s orders. This is understandable, given the spike in COVID cases.

But there is another way to celebrate July 4th, while following the appropriate social distancing rules.

Here are two ideas:

First, Edmonds residents step out of our dwellings at noon. For 10 minutes, we clap, wave the flag, sing, and express our joy and appreciation for the 4th of July. We can have placards that dwell on the achievements of this country, or its failings.

We could read aloud and reflect on the speeches of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have a dream,” and of JFK, where he implored us, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Let us thank those who serve in the military, the first responders, school teachers, grocery store clerks who turned up for work so that we could get our supplies, and activists who remind us of the moral purpose of a democracy.

And let us thank Teresa for managing this platform where we can deliberate and argue.

Second, now that we have complimented Teresa, here is a request. Could she run a 4th of July special issue of My Edmonds News with short commentaries from Edmonds residents (five sentences max) on how this country should move forward?

Rituals need to be infused with a meaning. July 4th should unite us, even if it is for a single day.

Are you in?

Nives Dolsak and Aseem Prakash

6 Replies to “Letter to the editor: A suggestion for celebrating the 4th of July”

  1. Lovely idea! Happy 4th everyone! My comment on moving forward- regardless of political affiliation or otherwise, we would all benefit from more kindness in my opinion. Remembering behind the keyboards… the anger, the sadness, the fear – that we are all human. This means we aren’t all bad nor all good. Just human. Increasing empathy and decreasing personal attacks and quick retorts would go a long way toward making our City and Country a better place and allow us space to celebrate and appreciate the Country we live in.


    1. Thank you for your suggestions. Please remember what the 4th of July is all about. We certainly should not have anyone steer us into another direction and give the 4th of July a totally different meaning. This is a time many are trying to turn our history upside down. Now for a little humor. President George Washington will always remain our first president. If you have a problem with him on the dollar bill, please do not burn them, donate them all to a good charity.


  2. Thank you for your thoughtful suggestion. I plan to celebrate the Fourth of July by educating my family. We will discuss the Revolutionary War, The United States Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and of course, The Declaration of Independence.

    My recommendation for going forward is to be cautious about judging history through a modern lens. While being critical of it is how we grow, we do not want to throw the good out with the bad. We are a very young nation and have made tremendous progress in a short amount of time. We should take pride in that. We should celebrate the framework that makes this country a haven for many immigrants.


  3. From a book I’m working on…
    Democracy is unnatural. Wanting freedom is natural. Democracy, ruling by a majority, is not an instinctive process. It requires us to seek opposing opinions and give up some power. It has to be learned and practiced. Most of all, democracy requires collaboration because we understand we don’t have all the answers. But practicing democracy, where everyone has a vote, doesn’t guarantee good outcomes. Besides committing to hearing everyone’s voice, we have to also commit to a process that first gets agreement on “What’s the problem we’re trying to solve?” It should also be a fact/science based process that results in solutions that benefit the most people for the least cost and in the long term. Let’s not ever take our precious form of government for granted. Together we can accomplish so much good not just for today but for the future.


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