Remember those who don’t get a holiday


On Friday, the business office of The Mount Airy News and many other businesses will be closed for the Independence Day holiday.

Historical fact: the leaders of the original 13 colonies actually voted on the resolution of independence on July 2, 1776. Two days later is when Thomas Jefferson produced the final copy of the Declaration of Independence that he wrote with four others. Future president John Adams wrote to his wife that he was sure that July 2 would go down in history as “the great anniversary festival.”

Still, we’re set in our ways, and no one is going convince us to switch from July 4 now — especially after both of those founding fathers, Jefferson and Adams, died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration.

Of course, for many of us, holidays don’t really change anything because life must go on.

That newspaper will still show up at your house early Saturday morning after we work Friday to get it written. If you need some cookout supplies and run to a grocery store on Friday, there will be someone at the register to scan your items (unless you’re at Walmart, and don’t get me started on that self-checkout mess).

The police will still be on patrol, as will soldiers in the military. Firemen and paramedics must be on standby for every holiday, but especially the Fourth of July in case some of our Southern boys manage to set the woods (or themselves) on fire with their pyrotechnics.

Then there are the emergency room doctors, nurses, x-ray technicians and all the support personnel who must care for those who are injured over the weekend — either from fireworks, the occasional lawn dart accident or, heaven forbid, a drunk driver.

My mom spent 20 years in the kitchen at Northern Hospital, making sure those food trays reached the rooms every day.

And this doesn’t just happen on this holiday; these important jobs must be filled on every holiday.

The day after Independence Day is also a holiday of sorts. Many companies and offices are closed for Sunday as a day of rest.

What if you had a car accident on Sunday and no cop came to file a report? No paramedic arrived to pick you up? And what if you got to the hospital only to find the doors locked with a sign that says it will open again at 8 a.m.?

About 25 years ago, I saw a cartoon in “Hi & Lois” that had the family going on vacation. The kids are all excited about going while the mom is packing suitcases. Then the kids are out enjoying their vacation while the mom fixed a meal.

In the last frame, she asked, “Why is it that fun for the whole family means more work for mom?”

When you are out enjoying your Independence Day, first remember the ancestors who fought for that freedom, then remember the soldiers who still defend it, and finally, remember all those unsung heroes who are working in the background so that society continues on unnoticed.

Jeff is the associate editor and can be reached at 415-4692.

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