A Reason to Celebrate

    On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress declared that the 13 American colonies were no longer subject to the British monarchy and were now free, united and independent states. So excited by the vote and the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail saying that this day would be “celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival… It ought 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.”
    While much has changed since that day, our now 50 states have certainly remained independent. In fact, it almost seems as if we are two independent countries, one red and one blue. 
    We differ vastly on immigration policies, women’s rights and even First Amendment safeguards. The latter, which includes free speech and freedom of the press, has become more complicated in this Internet age. Are bloggers considered press? What about the freelance journalists who leak police investigation documents, such as Bryan Carmody’s story on SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s 
    But despite our many differences, we are still one country, imperfect though it may seem at times, and that is something to celebrate. 
    Orinda will certainly commemorate the Fourth of July as “the great anniversary festival” John Adams referred to, minus the guns and bonfires of course. We hope to see you at the annual parade sponsored by The Orinda Association where we will celebrate our differences and our similarities. For a complete list of Fourth of July activities, see pages 9-12.
    I’d also like to thank reader Michael Linney for pointing out that last month’s editorial on being fire safe did not include a most important piece of information – signing up for the county’s Community Warning System (cococws.us). While Nixle was mentioned, CWS is the primary warning system used by first responders in our area. So, in addition to Nixle, please sign up for CWS. 
    – Sally Hogarty, Executive Editor