Last year, I experienced a Fourth of July that I never want to repeat. I wrote about it, but at the time, I don't think my experience registered on anyone's radar. Here's part of the description as I posted it last year:
...all day, I was looking forward to the famous Freedom Over Texas Celebration in Houston - one of the top 10 patriotic shows and fireworks displays in the country. I was determined to brave the crowds (which my husband and I typically loathe) with kiddos in tow, in order to enjoy the culminating holiday of our nation's heritage. We drove an hour to downtown Houston, spent 20 minutes looking for parking, and finally stepped into the crowds to move toward the center of the Celebration.I took a lot of heat in the comments from people who objected to the fact that I objected to a Mexican-themed Fourth of July. But others wrote in comments and via email that they had seen and experienced a similar hi-jacking of our national holiday; they seemed more bewildered than furious. "How did this happen? When did this happen?!" There was no real public indignation.
Here is what I saw as I crossed Allen Parkway near Buffalo Bayou:
There were NO 4th of July decorations - NONE. No red, white, and blue - anywhere.
There were no American flags.
No one was dressed in red, white, and blue except me and my kids.
There were no patriotic songs.
There was no indication of patriotic pride or nationalism in any way
No one - not one person around us - spoke English.
The music that was blasting through the loudspeakers was Mexican mariachi or some such.
Home made pig skins were sold in baggies - and screeching kids in dirty clothes were hawking water bottles out of grubby coolers.
I saw more green Mexican flags and paraphernalia than anything American themed.
What is this - Houston, Mexico?! Had I mistakenly ended up in some grungy street carnival in Little Mexico, instead of one of the Top 10 Patriotic Celebrations in the Country?! I knew that there was supposed to be military equipment displays somewhere in the center (which I was making a bee-line for), along with stages for Clint Black and LeAnn Rimes. I'm not a country-western aficionado, but I knew that I could most likely expect a moving patriotic song or two. As the crowds surged toward the Freedom Celebration, my family and I lagged more and more behind. Hot, sweaty, and rudely jostled in the rowdy crowd - I grew more and more angry. Looking around, I realized that no one seemed to be there to celebrate the 4th of July. It seemed like any generic public fiesta - just one more reason to party. I stopped walking and finally acknowledged the fact that whatever celebracion was going on around us had nothing to do with America. I was far beyond disappointed. I was furious.
Fast forward to 2006. This year, the in-your-face waving of the Mexican flag will have much more significance considering the politically-charged events of the past year. In a year that has seen illegal aliens gleefully desecrate Old Glory, and raise the Mexican flag over our own, such an offensive display is guaranteed to raise the ire of red-blooded Americans. After a year's worth of heavy-handed demands for the rights and privileges of full citizenship, illegal aliens and AINOs (Americans In Name Only) may feel emboldened to wave the Mexican flag during our Independence Day celebrations - just as they did last year with no public outcry.
I, for one, won't leave a 4th of July celebration like I did last year - furious but silent. I will say something to anyone who flaunts a foreign flag during our Independence Day. I want them to know it's inappropriate, deliberately incendiary, and offensive to people who deeply love this country and our valiant flag. This year, I have a feeling I won't be standing alone.
DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN IN YOUR TOWN!
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