Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fourth of July brings new perspective to writer

By Morgan Tarpley

The Fourth of July holiday has always meant several things to this American writer. It has been a time to wish my cousin - who is six days younger than me - “Happy Birthday,” a time to eat watermelon with my family after swimming in our local lake and a time to spend my allotted amount for fireworks to pop Blackjacks, shoot roman candles and fire screaming missiles into the dark night by the light of a bonfire.

But my Fourth of July today holds a different importance.

Being patriotic in my office :)
It’s about community (and still, of course, family) togetherness and is a time of remembrance. A time to remember all the people who have not only given their lives and have fought and are fighting for our freedom but to remember the people who we have lost in our lives and who we care about that are still here with us today.

Even looking at our national flag brings a new perspective for me today. I have always been patriotic, not only of our country but also of our state as well, so the flag has been significant before I ever waved one as a small child at my father’s return from a year of military service overseas.

Old Glory brought a new image to my mind when I caught my first sight of her outside of our nation. I guess my feelings can be compared to watching the opening and following events of the Olympics; watching for our nation’s team carrying our emblem and listening to our anthem as a gold medal is presented. I just felt this way recently with the U.S. games in the World Cup. It’s national pride. I know others have not forgotten this feeling.

My fiance and I cheering on the USA in the World Cup! lol
I feel this pride even more when I leave this country and become a living representative of it abroad. I carry a miniature Stars & Stripes with me when I travel internationally.

Our country’s flag has always been an important physical representation of the freedom I experience in life but it means so much more when you see it outside our borders. It may not be always be a positive representation but it is one none-the-less.

I am quite aware of the belief of many American people have of an “obvious heavy opposition” to Americans by people of foreign lands and cultures but though I have experienced slight opposition in opinions and comments regarding the USA when I travel, the comments of the majority of people I have met overseas have not been hostile or even rude to me concerning my country.

Instead, we seemed to see eye to eye for a moment, past our government’s decisions and cultural differences. That moment is when I have been a voluntary American diplomat and I hope at least just one positive glance at our country through me made a difference in the flurry of stereotypes and false media portrayals out there for Americans. Though I am sure some of the time (well a majority of the time) as Americans will not all agree with the decisions the officials ruling our country make we still hold true to our foundation.
Veteran Honor Guard raising Old Glory
Traditions seem to die hard and I am glad there are still Americans today who want to continue to uphold the traditions of honesty, integrity, loyalty and strong moral value, which our country’s foundation was built upon, which we celebrate with family reunions, firework displays, cookouts, picnics and church services on this special day to celebrate our independence.

I am glad tradition still lives on in our community and in this country. I hope you, reader, had an enjoyable Fourth of July holiday (if you celebrate it). God Bless!

Do you celebrate the Fourth of July? If so, what is your favorite tradition? If not, what is your favorite holiday and tradition specific to your nation? I’d love to hear about it! :)

Morgan Tarpley is an award-winning newspaper reporter and photographer in Louisiana. She is also a historical novelist currently seeking representation. Besides writing and traveling to over a dozen countries, her interests include acting in her local theater, photography, singing and currently planning a November wedding.

For more information about Morgan, visit her website (
www.morgantarpley.com) and blog (www.pensonaworldmap.com). You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Goodreads.


  1. Here, we celebrate July 1st--Canada Day. It is nice to see everyone more patriotic with flags waving around their country's birthday.

    1. That's great, Sandra! :) Happy belated Canada Day!!

  2. Morgan, I'm glad you enjoyed your Fourth of July celebrations. Australia Day (January 26) is our big national day of celebrations which also falls during summer.

    1. Thank you! :) That's really neat, Narelle! Wow, that's so interesting to have summer in January!

  3. Canada Day falls on July 1, the date our nation was signed into being with the passage of the British North America Act, in 1867. It always amuses my that the American catch phrase is, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," where as Canada opted for "peace, order and good government." It seems to me those two phrases sum up the differences in our countries, although we are very alike in so many other ways.

    1. Happy belated Canada Day, Alice! Thanks for sharing!! :) And that is interesting with the two statements!

  4. I thought of you dear folk enjoying your celebrations. When we lived in the heartland for two years we also enjoyed the excitement and the meaning of your special day.
    Great to see the pic of you and your beloved, Morgan.

    1. Thank you Rita! :) That's so neat you got to experience some of our celebrations. I'd like to experience more in other countries.