Freedom, Rangers, Whataburger – there’s plenty to be thankful for this July Fourth

The chemistry of fireworks

Ever wonder about the chemistry behind fireworks and how the different colored fireworks are made?
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Ever wonder about the chemistry behind fireworks and how the different colored fireworks are made?

There’s plenty we could complain about: Politics. Taxes. The heat.

But Independence Day puts us in a different mood. As the hot dogs crisp on the grill, the beer flows and the fireworks boom, we’re pausing to think about why we’re grateful to be Americans.

There are lots of reasons, more than we can list here. Parts of our list are serious, parts are just fun. But we hope you’ll contemplate our ideas and come up with your own as you wait for the sun to go down and the fireworks to go up. Here are a few of thinks we’re thankful for:

The troops and first responders who put themselves at risk to defend all of us and help us in our times of need.

The First Amendment. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. Freedom of the press. The right to peaceably assemble. The right to take our case to our government. While some of these can get messy, they represent the foundation of what makes America a free country.

And while we’re at it, the rest of the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution’s other limits on state power. These can be sources of tension and debate, but they’ve served us well for more than two centuries.

The many things that make Fort Worth unique — its history, its pace, its vibrant downtown, its world-class arts and cultural scene, the Stockyards and more.

As we head into the heart of summer, all hail air conditioning. Can you imagine those 110-degree days without it?

Hurrah for the U.S. Women’s National Team advancing to the World Cup finals — reminding us at exactly the right time how fun it is to defeat England.

The Texas Rangers have us high-fiving as they compete for a playoff spot when they seemed destined to be closer to last place. Bob Booth Special to the Star-Telegram

And for the Texas Rangers surprising us all with a possible playoff run in their final year in Globe Life Park.

Activists who use their rights to fight for others, even when they face overwhelming odds and even disdain for their cause.

The Internet. Yes, it drives us all crazy. But while we didn’t get they flying cars we were promised as kids, most of us walk around with a supercomputer in our pockets. That’s pretty cool.

As we pop open a beer to celebrate July Fourth, we are thankful for the growing craft and local beer scene in Tarrant County.

Don’t like your leaders? You can say so -- right to their faces, if you can get close enough. And every few years, you can vote them out. Much of the world still yearns for that kind of political freedom.

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A Chicago-based bank has acquired majority stake in Whataburger. Courtesy: Star-Telegram archives

Whataburger — yes, even if it’s owned by yankees now, it’ll always be ours.

As Americans, we enjoy the freedom to live anywhere in this great country. And we choose to live here, in Fort Worth.

So, why do we celebrate America? Because despite its divisions, frustrations and disappointments, the idea that each one of us can make a difference is alive and well in this country.

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