There’s no doubt that the 4th of July feels very different this year. Normally, this is one of the most exciting times to be in Boston. The City hosts centuries-old traditions like the Independence Day Oration at Faneuil Hall, and neighborhoods come together for parades and beloved annual events. To me and Lorrie, like many of you, the 4th of July usually means listening to the Pops play at the Esplanade, watching the fireworks go off over the Charles, and celebrating with loved ones at family cookouts.
Even though the coronavirus is keeping us from celebrating like we normally do, in 2020, the spirit of Independence Day is as important as ever. In fact, I think it’s more important than ever.
Now is the time to think about what we stand for as Americans, and how we can make sure that our nation lives up to its full potential. The first and most obvious way is by protecting your loved ones, your community, and all of your fellow Americans from the coronavirus. We all must remain diligent with physical distancing, face coverings and hand washing. Even though our city is slowly reopening, there should be no large gatherings of any kind. Save the big parties for when we beat this thing once and for all.
Another thing we should all do this Independence Day is commit to upholding American values by playing an active role in our democracy and in our history. Register to vote. Respond to the Census. Get to know your neighbors. Talk to young people in your life about this moment we’re living in, and ask them about their dreams for our country’s future.
I also invite you to explore the virtual Independence Day content we’re sharing on Boston.gov this year. It includes musical performances, links to live virtual events and presentations, educational resources for people of all ages, and my remarks for our virtual Independence Day Oration.
The American Revolution continues to play out today through democracy, debate, collaboration, and through the hard work of building a better society. That’s something we all have a responsibility to take part in. Even though we can’t be together in the traditional ways this year, we are all united by love for our city, and hope for our country.
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, and safe 4th of July,