EXAIR Wishes You a Happy Independence Day

Independence Day

Every year on the 4th of July, Americans celebrate Independence Day with family, cook outs, parades and of course fireworks.  It is time to rejoice and reflect on how our nation began in 1776 by declaring our independence from British rule.  Did you know the United States of America started with 13 states? Here are some other interesting facts about Independence Day:

  • John Hancock was the only person that signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. The 55 other people signed afterwards.
  • The average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. The oldest was Benjamin Franklin at the age of 70.
  • Only two of the signers later became President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. They both died on July 4th, 1826.
  • Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4th, 1872.
  • Benjamin Franklin suggested the turkey as the national bird, but was overruled to make it the bald eagle.
  • Every 4th of July, the Liberty Bell is tapped, not rung, thirteen times in honor of the original 13 states. I can’t blame them, it has a crack in it.
  • July 4th was declared a holiday in 1870, 94 years after the declaration.
  • Americans consume about 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day, the biggest hot dog holiday of the year. (And it is one of my favorite foods)
  • Fireworks were first used to celebrate the 4th of July in 1777 in Philadelphia.

I hope you enjoyed this read, and from the EXAIR family to your family, we want to wish you a wonderful 4th of July. EXAIR Will be closed on July 4, 2017.

John Ball
Application Engineer

Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

 

Photo: Happy 4th of July by Karson Designs.  Creative Commons 2.0

Happy Birthday to US

I like summer. I even clarified that in a comment on the EXAIR Facebook page’s post of Lee Evan’s blog, “Summertime,” last week. I also really like summer holidays. Don’t get me wrong; Thanksgiving and Christmas are great, but right now, in the thick of the July heat, it’s kickball, cornhole and fireworks, and not sugarplums, that are dancing in my head.

Just a few weeks ago we kicked off the Official Start Of Summer™ with Memorial Day, a day of thanksgiving, if you will, for the courage and determination of all the heroic men and women who guaranteed our freedom and way of life with their life’s blood. Amidst the picnics, parties and fireworks, I was pleased to see ceremonies and observances honoring those patriots who made the sacrifice that I was fortunate enough not to be called to make. As a veteran of America’s armed forces, I’m proud that I served 364 days a year, but don’t thank me for my service on Memorial Day. I didn’t earn that.

This past Monday was Independence Day. Another day when you have to try hard to avoid picnics, parties, fireworks, streets lined with flags…but this time, it’s different. This is a celebration; a day more suitable for parties than ceremonies; when fireworks at twilight are more fitting than flowers at gravesides.

This is my street. My whole neighborhood looks like this the last week of June/first week of July. Every year.

I’m certainly not saying that there’s a day to NOT remember – and honor – our fallen heroes, but, from the beginning, Independence Day was meant to be a party. After signing the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife in which he said:

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival…to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

There it is – “the great anniversary festival” – a birthday party! Look, I also really like my birthday, and, while it’s more late-spring than early-summer, it’s still a darn fine time for outdoor activities. One thing I always miss, though, is my Mom calling me, first thing in the morning, to sing “Happy Birthday To You” to me. I lost her nine years ago, and, as any Mama’s Boy who’s lost his Mama knows, it’ll never be all right, but that, in itself, is all right.

So I certainly remember her on my birthday, but not to the point of complete distraction from celebrating another successful trip around the sun with my family and friends…and I truly believe that’s the way Mom would have wanted it. Just like I believe those who left their lives on the battlefields and in the seas of our nation’s conflicts are looking down and enjoying the fireworks on the Fourth of July…just as much as they appreciate the playing of “Taps” on Memorial Day.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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