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On Saturday, we celebrate the 244th birthday of the United States of America, and – yes, you guessed it — we will have to do it COVID-19 style.

Independence Day is a day when we all join together and celebrate our freedoms ensured to us by the Declaration of Independence and defended by the brave men and women who have served in the military during peace and wartime of our nation’s rich history.

There may not be baseball this year, but surely there will be plenty of picnics featuring hamburgers and hot dogs and all the sides we love, including apple pie, to go along with plenty of fireworks, and, of course, social distancing.

The year has been a tumultuous one as we are in the midst of a pandemic that still isn’t subsiding and the subsequent loss of many of the activities we love. From fairs to festivals to concerts and sporting events, large gatherings like high school and college graduations we are accustomed to — have gone by the wayside.

But, if the Fourth of July is your holiday, then you will surely be able to find a way to celebrate appropriately.

Whether your thing is family get-togethers, taking a trip to the beach or the city or just staying home, there is plenty of reason to celebrate your wealth and health on what is forecast to be a hot July day.

I happen to like spending time with family over the summer’s biggest and best holiday. To me, there is nothing better than sharing meals, memories and creating new ones.

For this Fourth of July holiday, I will be making the trek back to where I grew up in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. I haven’t been back there in some time, so I will make sure to drive around and check to see what has changed and, most likely, what hasn’t.

I know that with the pandemic, like most of you, none of us have really traveled, except for going to work and other essential functions. So, I will be motoring down the highway playing my favorite music at high volumes throughout the weekend.

I have some plans when I am in my old stomping grounds. I am not sure exactly how many people I will see with this pandemic’s grasp on the country, but you can be sure I will be masked and armed with hand sanitizer and keeping my distance.

And I guess I can say it now that I live here, the country roads will take me home …

Brent Addleman is group editor and publisher for the Hampshire Review and Spirit of Jefferson.

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