Our neighborhood gorges on communal spirit every 4th of July. The block party begins at dawn and stretches long past dust. The group activities play out in front of our house – the one owned by an Englishman. Given the desire for things English that drove many revolutionaries, I find it appropriate.
Our single block street has a hospital at one end and a school at the other. Our needs for health and education are met a few steps from our door. When we transform into a party zone, the city sends a squad car to help set up and a fire engine to turn the hydrant into a water park. No celebration of “freedom from” institutions here. We embrace the benefits of government committed to the common good. The revolution overturned the remote rule of an English parliament. Our 4th of July revels in our dependence upon one another forged by geographical proximity and dedication to future generations.