It’s my first time in the U.S. I arrived in San Francisco less than two weeks ago. And this is my first 4th of July. So, my editors sent me out on the streets of The City to find out what Americans think of the holiday. What can they teach a newcomer like myself about their national day?
Fourth of July -- it’s about freedom, celebrating and remembering the people that gave their lives for the country throughout history, said Ruth Galpin, 32, who was visiting The City from Greenville, South Carolina.
“People came here and see freedom and fight to keep that alive,” she said.
In their honor, Galpin plans to wake up early on the fourth and do a Crossfit workout in the memory of those who have died for this country – a “heroes workout”, she said. And after that she is going to a barbeque and party with friends.
Fireworks are an expression of freedom, said Rachel Stallman, 31, a San Francisco native, during her lunch break at Yerba Buena Gardens on Wednesday. She said that when she thinks about the Fourth of July, the first thing that comes to her minds is what the Bill of Rights means for the Americans. For her, it is a day of doing things with the family. This year, she plans to be camping at Big Sur with her family.
The Fourth of July is a “happy day with the family and friends, lot of food and drinks, and always the firework,” said Emerald Jones, 26, from Oakland.
“Where we were and where are now” -- that’s what the Fourth of July represents for Hilary Steiner, 31, from San Francisco. The national holiday is a day to enjoying hanging out with friends in the middle of the summer, she said.
According to Carlos Martinez, 39, from Rencho Cycamonga, the holiday is all about family and remembering the time our country got independence. It’s a celebration of the freedom that lies in our constitution, said Martinez on Wednesday while having lunch with his family at the Yerba Buena Gardens. He plans to have a picnic with family and friends for the holiday, watch the fireworks and enjoy good food and beer with good company, he said.
For Adam Post, 72, a Chicago native, Independence Day is day to remember how the U.S. become sovereign country. He said it feels more like a memorial day because it brings forth the memory of the revolution and WWII and how they changed the country. He plans to go to the park, have a picnic and watch the fireworks.