Saturday, July 4, 2015
Virginia has George Washington’s home.
New Jersey has George Washington crossing the Delaware.
And Washington D.C. has... George Washington’s fake teeth.
Most of the year I’m thrilled that I live on the Pacific coast. In California we have beautiful weather, good food, great wine and a happy people. But there is one day—July 4th—when I miss the history found seemingly everywhere back East. While California embraces all that is new, the Mid-Atlantic states respect and protect the history of our country’s founding. Not the least of which are George Washington’s dentures, which for the record were not made of wood but ivory, metal and human teeth.
While California may seem far away from the battle sites of Trenton, Saratoga and Yorktown; a world away from the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party; and on another planet from snowy Valley Forge, we have something that the East coast has, as well as the Midwest, the West and the South. This thing that all our states have is more moving than seeing a revolutionary battleground, another bed where Washington slept or the table where George rested his dentures. No matter where we find ourselves on July 4th, what we all have are the words that started the American Revolution and explained our rationale for wanting our independence.
Continuing one of my favorite traditions, I’m off to read the Declaration of Independence, which you can read here, too.
After which I’m going to eat some barbecue with my own real teeth. Happy Birthday to us! The United States of America!