Proud to be an American? For some, that’s a tricky question
From the fireworks to the burst of red, white and blue, the Fourth of July sparks tradition.
“For me, the Fourth of July means just getting together with family and having a relaxing time,” said Lance Thronswood, who was celebrating the holiday Tuesday in Minnesota.
“Family, fun and freedom. I love it,” Adam Neuharth, Minnesotan, said. “It’s always been a good time. Everyone’s in a great mood.”
For some, the day is filled with picnics and patriotism.
“I’m definitely very patriotic. I love being an American,” Devon Duviem, Minnesotan, said. “Every place has its problems and stuff. We’re working through it and I think you got to have pride in where you come from.”
The Fourth of July is rooted in America’s independence, but some have mixed feelings about the holiday.
According to a 2022 Gallup poll, 38 percent are “extremely proud” to be an American, which is a record low.
“Just in the last week it’s been so crazy here with all of the decisions,” Thronswood said. “It’s kind of unfortunate. It feels like the states are taking a big step back.”
In the last week, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a case some say limits LGBTQ+ rights with businesses. The justices also killed President Joe Biden’s student loan debt plan and struck down affirmative action in higher education.
“I feel like everything is messed up in a way,” Antonette Reff, Minnesotan, said.
Some explained the definition of freedom is not the same for everyone.
“I think freedom means equity and making sure everyone has the same opportunities no matter what,” Reff said.
The Fourth of July has been celebrated for decades, but in recent years, it’s become a day of reflection.
“There’s things that we can improve upon, of course, but you have to highlight the good things,” Logan Quiggle said. “I’m proud of my country and proud to be an American.”