On July 4, 2008, former President George W. Bush presided over a naturalization ceremony at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello plantation in Virginia. Eight years later, former President Barack Obama gave a speech honoring military families after a performance by artists Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monáe. Independence Day 2017 is coming up on Tuesday—so this week, we asked our Politics & Policy Daily readers how they would celebrate the holiday if they were president. Here’s what they said.
Alex Taylor would take a page out of Bush’s book with a “naturalization ceremony for citizens with an emphasis on military members and their families at an appropriate national park.” For Alex, that would be somewhere like Liberty Island or the Grand Canyon—and everyone would be welcome to attend, with cake and ice cream to follow.
Mary Lung would take the holiday overseas, to U.S. troops serving abroad:
I would spend the entire weekend visiting the forgotten military serving in dangerous areas and treat them to grilled favorites and delicious pies and desserts and sit down and eat with them. If possible, I’d bring some entertainers with me to let them know they are not forgotten.
In that vein, Maria Ayala would hold a ceremony celebrating “American Indians, Mexican Americans (the original owners of the Southwest), and African Americans for contributing lives, sweat, and tears that sent this country forward”—taking a solemn moment to recognize that slavery helped to build the U.S.