Despite Our Division – Why We Come Together and Celebrate

4th of July

We’re divided for sure – Even more reason to celebrate this country that we’re so passionate about

For many gaming folks, the 4th of July is a day spent at the casino creating a time-honored atmosphere for their guests.

Independence Day fills your hotel elevators with overly-excited kids smelling of chlorine and wet bathing suits; your chef has created a menu unaltered from the 50s, featuring lots of mayo-based salads, blistered hot dogs and red, white and blue cakes; and most of your female customers are wearing t- shirts with rhinestone flags across their chests.

Despite our polarized nation (the most divided in two decades) and in the face of unrelenting, negative news updates, we will come together tomorrow and …

  • Post flags and decorations at our homes and at the graves of our fallen (because that’s just the right thing to do).
  • Invite our neighbors and friends to share a “traditional American” meal (shrimp and macaroni salad was a favorite at my house growing up – great to leave outside in the sun).
  • Stand shoulder to shoulder with strangers, thrilled as a child, watching a fireworks-filled sky (my sister-in-law is the only one I’ve ever known who looked up and got an ash in her eye).
  • Weather the crowds to celebrate community parades and sporting events lead by our veterans and our youth (and maybe get a little choked up when the anthem plays and the military jets do a fly over).

Your Country, Your America

What makes tomorrow more than just a day off (for some), is because most of us believe that the U.S., as imperfect as it can be, is worth celebrating. So let’s take our hats off tomorrow and commemorate a country that:

… is worth our votes, our sweat equity, our time, our frustrations and our concerns because there is no other place like it in the world.

… gives us the right to individual freedoms and possibilities.

… embodies an incredibly resilient and hardworking labor force of amazing men and women, from 14 year olds to members of the silent generation.

… represents the most outstanding goodwill ambassadors across the world: our military.

And maybe tomorrow, in-between the hotdogs and the water balloons, you’ll share the same sentiment my good friend Tim Hall, United States Air Force, 820th and 554th Red Horse Squadrons, 1988-1992, does about the U.S. In an interview a few years ago, I asked him what kept him going when he was serving overseas. He answered:

“This sounds pretty simple – but when I think of what kept me going, it was the thought of returning to ‘America.’ No matter where I was, in Okinawa, Honduras, Korea or Iraq, it was about coming home to MY country, to MY America, a place like nowhere else in the world. It might be hard to understand – but to me, the smell of home, the tastes, the people, the freedom to go four-wheeling, to be with friends, to jump in my truck and go anywhere, to be with my family – all of those things I probably take for granted now, well, it is all packaged in my head that it could never be duplicated anywhere else than in America.”

From the entire Raving team: Thank you to all of you that are working today to make our Independence Day a memorable one. And to those of you flipping burgers, keep it safe and have a blast.

Christine Faria