By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

Another holiday is here and this year there’s been a bit more grumbling with Independence Day falling smack dab in the middle of the week. Did you take Monday and Tuesday off to make it a long weekend heading into the holiday? Or are you coming out of the holiday with a long break? And we can’t forget about those who take the whole week off of work.

Of course, we all do this so that we can properly observe and celebrate what happened back in 1776. Right?
Of course not. Most holidays today we simply combine with a few vacation or PTO days to head to the cottage, visit family or friends, take in some fireworks, have a few drinks, eat a burger or brat or just take it easy. All-too-often we forget what the holiday is all about. 
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have any actual plans to celebrate the real meaning of Independence Day. But I will spend some time thinking about all of the freedoms I have as a result of what happened more than 235 years ago.
As we observe Independence Day, it’s difficult to ignore the many levels of discord that engulf our nation right now. Still, it’s amazing that even though we may vehemently disagree with what our neighbors, our co-workers and our government leaders on certain issues, we can all speak out, yet peacefully co-exist. Many of us take Freedom of Speech and other freedoms for granted without ever thinking about what this country would be like today if the Declaration of Independence had not been adopted on July 4, 1776.
So the next time someone says “Happy 4th of July” to you, shoot back a quick “Happy Independence Day.” You may get a few strange looks, but you also may get a few more people thinking about the true meaning of the holiday.