Happy Fourth of July!

To all my friends here in Edgartown, where Fourth of July is a holiday favored over Christmas for some, with its parade and its fireworks and its longstanding traditions of where to watch the parade and the order in which to hit every barbeque: We’ll see you at the usual spot at the usual time, which will be running ten minutes behind, as usual, riding down the parade route on our bikes in our red, white, and blue finest, cutting up one-way streets because no cars are on the road, and we can. Happy Fourth!

To my grandfather, who served in the second world war, who jumped on Normandy, who raised six children, who led his town as selectman for decades, who spearheaded one of the most successful affordable housing projects this island has ever seen, who Brokaw was talking about when he coined the term “greatest generation,” whose face is the one that comes to mind when I picture what it means to be a true American, who will be marching at the front of the parade today, to you Gramp, a tip of the hat and a Happy Fourth!

To those who have served their country, to my father and my cousin and my uncles who fought overseas, to my friend Kara who spent time with Americorp, to my brother and my friends on the police force for making this a town in which your officers truly “protect and serve,” to past and present firemen and paramedics, both my parents included, Happy Fourth!

To the teachers, the nurses, the ER doctors pulling bugs out of people’s ears, the bus drivers and ranchers and organic dairy farmers, Happy Fourth!

To my sister, who loves parades because she loves to clap, Happy Fourth!

To my father-in-law, who mows the grass around a town memorial each week, simply because it’s right there and he already has his lawnmower out, Happy Fourth!

To everyone who gets up each day and goes to work to make a better future for themselves and their families, to everyone who speaks their minds, fights for what they believe to be true, stands and questions, plants a tree, builds a home, coaches Little League, makes one of those flag cakes with the whipped cream and the blueberries and strawberries, roots for the Red Sox – hell, even if you root for the Yankees – Happy Fourth!

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