It was hilarious to be an American in London on the 4th of July, otherwise known as Independence Day. There were a lot of jokes about beating up British people in pubs, pissing on the Unionjack, and guns (the gun jokes came from the Brits themselves). The oddest thing, though, was that in the office, the Brits kept saying "Happy 4th of July!" to us Americans - kind of like one might say "Merry Christmas!" to a co-worker. It made me stop and think, because in the US, a) one is not at work on the 4th, b) one usually uses the holiday as an excuse to either get drunk or go on vacation or both, and c) it's easy to forget that the holiday is to commemorate a nation beating its oppressor. Not many Americans today can trace their roots back to those who fought in the Continental Army, but it's fascinating to think that a whole culture of people celebrate that victory because it established the American nation we know today. Being in a foreign country on that day made me realize that Americans really do forget the meaning and symbolism behind our national holidays; it should be interesting to experience British holidays, and see if the Brits are any different.
And, for all who are wondering, I went to the pub on July 4th and got wasted. As per usual.