July 4, 2006

By July 4, 2006General

No doubt many of you watch “A Capitol Fourth“, the concert from the National Mall, every year on PBS. However, it is well-known to the locals here in Washington that there is a full dress rehearsal the night before — everything but the fantastic fireworks, that is.

Well, we attended last night’s rehearsal and can assure you all that those of you who see it in person tonight or tune into PBS to watch it live are in for a great show. Jason Alexander hosts, and the show features, among others, Vanessa Williams, Michael Bolton, Jo Dee Messina — all backed by the excellent National Symphony Orchestra. The show wraps with Stevie Wonder, a guy who has transcended music to become a cultural (if not historical) icon. He did not disappoint, it was a great show.

In one of the narratives, they talk about FDR’s “Four Freedoms”. Here they are as outlined in his speech to the 77th Congress in 1941:

“The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants –everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor –anywhere in the world.”

We just wanted to take a moment to wish all you blog readers a happy Independence Day. Here’s a link to the US Government page dedicated to July Fourth and its history — including a link to the actual Declaration of Independence as seen at the Archives — and here’s a link to last year’s entry, which included a schmaltzy piece reminding us why people still yearn to come here.