Tuesday, July 03, 2007

It's Independence Day

This letter to the editor I wrote was published in the July 11, 2001 edition of The Daily Record, our local daily newspaper. The issues therein remain the same.
An editorial in the Independence Day issue of The Daily Record titled "History Important" included the statement, "and 15 percent (of teenagers surveyed) did not know the declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776." What has The Daily Record done to either contribute to or alleviate the problem?

I searched the Sunday, July 1 edition of The Daily Record for mention of our independence, but instead found headlines such as "July 4 is more than fireworks," "Fourth of July activities throught the county," and "Beaver Lake will light up the sky." Even in the Independence Day edition, a leading headline was "Diverse groups mark the Fourth." Embedded in the stories were reminders this was the 225th anniversary of our independence, but you would not know that from reading the headlines. And the general emphasis on modern celebrations without historical context seems to be the norm for your paper.

This reminds me of an old Peanuts cartoon, where Lucy and Linus are discussing this day, and Lucy says that the 4th of July and Independence Day fall on the same day this year.

Yes, I agree we must do a better job of remembering the history of our conoutry, particularly the events leading up to and the struggles of those who won our independence from the oppressions of Great Britain. But we don't celebrate "The Fourth of July"; We celebrate "Independence Day." Why can't The Daily Record take the lead and use the more correct term in its headlines? Lest you think I am picking on your paper, the broadcast media does an even worse job at this.
How about the Providence Journal? Does it do a better job?

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