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The 4th Brings Us Back To Each Other

Jamie Stiehm on

MADISON, Wis. -- The fireworks from here to Washington sang of a country renewing its place in the world -- and its sense of self. It was the most meaningful Fourth of July in memory, six months after the armed mob stormed the Capitol.

Democracy is making a remarkable recovery.

Seeing people in person again -- like family -- after 18 months was a shared experience for millions. Travel was hard, but the pandemic made pilgrims of us all.

Hardship darkened our doors and lives for so long that the Fourth was a light in the distance.

The genial Bidens hosted 1,000 people to celebrate. I heard several say what a salve it is to witness a warm family in the White House.

On her way out, Melania Trump destroyed the Rose Garden. With two weeks in his waning presidency, Donald Trump almost murdered American optimism and faith in government institutions and norms.

 

A peaceful transfer of power was under fire.

A wounded national spirit can't be tried in court, and we need it back. If you think back to the 20th century, optimism was once unquenchable.

So, we missed the Village Dance but enjoyed the Fourth of July in this Midwestern gem set on Lake Mendota. There was the 1929 vintage fire engine, the parade and the pool.

Competition was fierce in the egg toss. Good old-fashioned fun.

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