About the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams famously said, “It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
I don’t know abut the rest of my American friends, but I plan to put on my red-white-and-blue to attend a parade, which ought to count as pomp; make a bonfire (or at least a campfire I can toast marshmallows on); and undoubtedly see some illuminations although that may involve the television. I may ring a bell or two. I don’t plan shews, guns, or sports you will be relieved to know.
Given that I write about English characters in an era only a generation removed from the Revolution, and only a year or two from that unpleasantness that sent Dolly Madison fleeing with Washington’s portrait from the White House by dark of night, I’m pondering how they may have reacted to the holiday. Perhaps, like the meme floating around facebook they might say “Happy Traitor Day, ungrateful colonials.”