Broken Clouds 33° Good Morning
Broken Clouds 33° Good Morning

A long holiday to relax and unplug

Breathe deep our freedom.

People gather at West Meadow Beach in Setauket

People gather at West Meadow Beach in Setauket to watch the sun set over Long Island Sound on June 18, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The Fourth of July wasn’t relaxing in 1776, the year delegates from the 13 American colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence to break away from British rule. Thanks to them, this Fourth of July provides us a more calming moment to relax, unplug and appreciate what those men set in motion.

For months, the pace has been only fast-forward. Terror attacks overseas, national political controversies, local corruption scandals and violence at home leave the impression that order and structure are declining. Our overbooked lives of to-do lists, errands and round-the-clock work leave us needing a reprieve. This holiday can provide that.

The Fourth of July is the only summer holiday that doesn’t symbolize the beginning or end of the season. Sandwiched between Memorial Day and Labor Day, it allows us to step away from work and enjoy the lushness of the season. It gives us the opportunity to be present. Go outside, watch a parade, visit a park, walk a trail, sit on a beach or drop in on a neighbor. We can step out of the routine of our daily lives.

The Fourth on Long Island comes with all the Americana we enjoy — barbecues, fireworks, boat rides and dips in the waters that surround us. With that in mind, we should all be sure to do one thing before our holiday plans take hold — unplug from our many devices.

We all celebrate our patriotism differently. But there is little disagreement that Independence Day and the marvelous freedoms it enshrines deserve to be celebrated. That’s one American value everyone can get behind, and one that can unite us all, regardless of different points of view.

So enjoy this special summer break, it’ll pay off tenfold to be present when the fireworks burst.