With several social and political current events shaping 2020, this year’s July 4 will be the 79th celebration of Independence Day since it was officially declared a holiday in 1941.
With social-distancing in mind, the Texas A&M University System will be hosting a drive-in firework display this Saturday, July 4, according to an announcement made by A&M Chancellor John Sharp. Parking for the event will open at 7:30 p.m. and the 20 minute firework show will begin at 9 p.m. Restrictions due to COVID-19 might make it hard for many Aggies to celebrate the same way this year, but social and political tensions also play a role in this year’s festivities.
With everything that is going on, it is an emotionally turbulent time but America’s patriotism shouldn’t be lessened because of the desire for change, but should be further fueled, said Roy May, Class of 2015.
“There have been many times in our history where there’s been a lot of divisive issues and we have seen our way through them one way or another,” May said. “July 4th is about this country’s independence and while this country isn’t perfect, it’s a celebration of the freedoms that we have and the freedom that we continue to work toward.”
Agricultural economics junior Anaissa Diaz said she usually celebrates Independence Day at home grilling with family and with fireworks outside. However, this year Diaz said she is hesitant to celebrate freedom and independence.
“If I did celebrate this year I would be celebrating the future of America and how things could change,” Diaz said. “There is change slowly happening and I am hopeful for the future with our generation making so much noise. That is how change started to begin with, when America was founded. I do feel optimistic that in the future I can celebrate the fourth of July and be proud of what America stands for.”
Alexander Govea, Class of 2020, said our forefathers made a call to arms to allow Americans to celebrate freedom, but this Fourth of July feels like a far cry from that energy and spirit.
“Patriotism to me, is not just being true to your country, but the spirit of what brought the country to fruition,” Govea said. “Historically, it’s a celebration for the independence and birth of the U.S. Currently, it’s no longer the same since I’ve seen the world for what it is.”
Many Aggies are saying America cannot truly celebrate independence when more than 200 years later there is still no peace and equality for all. Still, others feel they should celebrate the desire for the principles of freedom and independence
“I no longer get that same sense of warmth and unity,” Govea said. “But everyone can [still] be patriotic by doing their part, being a good person and being altruistic.”
The solutions that are being given to help motivate reformation are a little slow, but still a step in the right direction, Diaz said.
“I know everybody wants change and of course we want it right away,” Diaz said. “But of course change doesn't happen overnight.