Jul 03

Celebrating Our Independence

By Kassandra Posted in: Blazers

Happy Birthday to the United States! We're 237 years old today. I know, I know ... everyone stops counting after 225! Heck, we don't even look a day over 220!

But you know, given our history, we're not afraid to mention our age. We may be young in regards to the world's stage, but we've been around the block. In fact, we've been around the block a few times. In basketball terms, you could say we've won some championships and we've also missed the playoffs.

Personally, of all this country's years -- and I've only been here for 21 of them -- I think 1977 was just about the best. In fact, I wouldn't even sneeze at 1990 or 1992 either. Blazers fans will understand of what I speak there.

I think the Fourth of July is, perhaps the one holiday we celebrate which exemplifies what we the holiday means. We barbecue. We always, at least for a moment, talk about Uncle Sam. We wear red, white and blue. It seems, more than any other holiday, we actually recognize its origin.

The Revolutionary War had already begun by the time our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. This day, 237 years ago, is the day we officially became a nation. This is the day we collectively decided to go our own way. This is the day we declared that we are ready to become our own country.

It's a day I don't take lightly.

Many of you know that both of my parents have served in the military their entire adult lives. My brother has been in the U.S. Army for nearly the past eight years. Both of my grandfathers are Army veterans. Suffice to say, the call of duty runs deep in my family. I know that it runs deeply in several of your families as well.

It's for those reasons I'm writing this blog. Does it have to do with the Blazers or basketball? No, not really at all. The point is to recognize the courage it took to form a new nation. The English must have thought we were nuts then. It seems like many of them may think we're nuts even to this day (I hope Joel Freeland is not one of them)!

Maybe we are nuts.

We've been through Heaven and Hell in these 237 years. The thing is, we always seem to come out stronger after our trials. I attribute that to the courageous spirit of those founding fathers. I often wonder what they would think if they saw us now. I'd like to think, at least in some ways, they would be impressed.

We've done pretty well over our time as a nation. We may have a way to go, but I believe we have the capacity to do so. I really can't think of one person I know who is not thankful for the signing of the Declaration of Independence so long ago. We may have challenges, but overall, we're better off than we had been before.

The Fourth of July is quite possibly my favorite holiday. Yes, it is absolutely a holiday. We would not be where we are today without those tough initial steps taken by those founding fathers. As with some other holidays, this is a time for my family to get together and reflect on how we all became a nation from a pool of misfits (come on, you know you're one of them!).

I would be interested to hear how you're planning on celebrating and recognizing our country's independence.

For my part, I will spend the day with my family; parents, three sisters, four brothers, a sister-in-law, my two-month-old niece and my cousin who came in from Iowa. We'll barbecue, play some softball, spend time with one another and some friends from our neighborhood. We'll also enjoy some live original music (and some covers) from my sister, Jessica, and her band.

In all, it will be a celebration of those people who took the bold steps to create our nation those 237 years ago.

Happy Fourth of July.


In Kassandra's Words features periodic blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. 


  1. Hey Kassandra great reflection on our Independence, I served during the Vietnam war, but was not a Veteran of the War, My dad Howard Mangum served on a battleship in World war 11 right after my origin. one of my great grandfathers, Henry Mangum the first, I don't remember how many removed, I think the 10th, fought in the Revolution against the British, He was one of the five that was held hostage and later released. He entered the War several times but after a short time would go home to look after his family.

    I am very proud of my heritage and my country, I will spend the day celebrating with the families of Prineville, OR. with fireworks 4th of July celebration at the City Park, but also have the honors of cleaning City Hall while it is vacated for the festivities.

    You and all of our faithfuls of BlazerNation have a great Independence day



    by Hg on 7/4/2013 4:31 AM
  2. Kassandra: I love how you put things like this in perspective. I agree that we tend to think more about the origins of the 4th of July than the other holidays. No good 4th of July could go by without a good morning surf. We're going to do our own barbecue and hang out with some friends to watch fireworks. I wish I was there to hear Jessica's band! Happy 4th!

    Hg: My family history hasn't been traced back that far, but I've been told some of my family was here around Revolutionary times. What happened back then was amazing. The 4th is such a great time to get together and celebrate and honor it. Peace.

    by julianne on 7/4/2013 10:20 AM
  3. Oorah !!! Semper Fidelis !

    by commontongue on 7/4/2013 10:39 AM
  4. Well put, Kassandra. There is a great meaning behind today's celebration. It truly marks the birth of our nation. Happy Fourth of July!

    by Angi on 7/4/2013 1:51 PM
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