As a big fan of the concept of American exceptionalism, I’m always happy when our country gets its props in the broader world. So I was glad to see a CNN item about July 4th celebrations around the globe, organized by Yanks living away from home in cities like Buenos Aires, Sydney, Rome and London.
If I recall correctly, our July 4 holiday originally had something to do with throwing off the oppressive yoke of British imperialism. Nice to see the Brits have a chance to get in on the fun.
The article started with a snappy lead: “(CNN) — Hot dogs? Check. Fireworks? Check. Big Ben? Wait a minute…”
Cool, I can get a nice light holiday blog post out of this. I bet I can fire up Google Images and find pictures of fireworks at Big Ben… Check!
All right, let’s flesh this out… oops. Turns out this is one of those stories that journalists describe as being “too good to check.” CNN helpfully links to the website for the London celebration … but a visit to that site reveals a couple of problems.
First, the celebration is at Battersea Park, which looks quite nice in the pictures but turns out to be not particularly near Big Ben. Second, the fireworks got canceled at the last minute.
But hey, the Big Ben picture really is snazzy, and the celebration will continue, from my hometown of Maplewood to London and around the world. Happy 233rd Birthday, America. It’s been an extraordinary journey, and I’m convinced there are plenty of good times still to come.
(Photo: Getty Images)