Do Americans appreciate the Fourth of July?

Fireworks explode over the National Mall in Washington D.C. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Fireworks explode over the National Mall in Washington D.C. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

In the days before the Fourth of July, many Americans begin to gear up for the celebration which this year marked the 239th anniversary of America’s independence.

Whether it’s eating hamburgers or seeing a fireworks show, many Americans like to party on the special day.

“It’s definitely a focal point of the summer,” said Chris Morgan, 25, from Gaithersburg, Maryland.

As of July 2, Morgan planned to party with his friends, one of which will be meeting him in Pennsylvania with his fellow hikers from the Appalachian Trail. Morgan has many Fourth of July memories from previous years as well, including a glow-stick party in his neighbor’s pool and a firework show over Camden Yards in Baltimore.

There’s no doubt that Americans do their share of partying on the Fourth of July. But is this partying aimed towards the right cause? Is there appropriate reverence for the actions of America’s forefathers?

Buddy Bonner, 48, said the answer is “no.”

“I think we got a gross departure from appreciation with what our freedoms are,” Bonner said. “It’s more than likely just viewed as another day off from work.”

Bonner even admitted that he might be one of those people who does not hold the Fourth of July in high enough regard.

For some, the lack of appreciation of the Fourth of July is rooted in a lack of education.

“What happened exactly only the Fourth of July?” said Kevin Quinto, a 16-year-old from North Carolina. “If you asked 10 people at least five of them wouldn’t know.”

For Francesca Coyne, 18, of Pennsylvania, the holiday brings people together.

“Its really cool to see everybody get together and appreciate something,” Coyne said.

“It’s very rare that you can get a group silent and appreciate something,” Coyne later said.

Marsel Ganeycv, 18, an international student, said the Fourth of July is a worthy celebration for the independence of the country.

“I have a t-shirt with stars and people say ‘I have the same t-shirt,'” Ganeycv said. “They’re all so friendly.”

Like Coyne, Ganeycv sees the holiday as a way to bring people together.

“When you see the fireworks, something is happening in your soul,” Ganeycv said. “You feel that you’re apart of the whole crowd.”