It's that time of the year, you know: hot dog heavy cookouts; a metric shit-ton of light beer stacked neatly in the shape of the American flag at your nearby supermarket; fireworks and trigger warnings about fireworks and rants about trigger warnings about fireworks; American flag-printed clothing in every size and shape, from two-sizes too small booty shorts, and full on adult onesies; and of course the endless stampede of social media posts depicting the Stars and Stripes, bald eagles, presidents, U.S. troops, and random celebrities wearing some version of a spangly outfit.

We're talking about Independence Day.

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DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique Pineiro

President Donald Trump has reiterated his desire to see U.S. troops march through Washington in a grand display of military might modeled on France’s Bastille Day parade, which the president attended this summer.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

It’s that time of year again, the week when advertisers take to the airwaves, to hawk Independence Day deals like burger bargains, freedom furniture discounts, and “red, white, and shoe” sales for the Fourth of July, an all-American reflection of the country’s patriotic fervor. But on the eve of our most American holiday, a new study reveals that patriotism among Americans has declined since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that unified citizens around love of country.

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Photo via West Point Facebook

The Fourth of July was supposed to be Cadet Tom Surdyke’s 19th birthday. Instead, on that day, his family said their goodbyes and buried him at West Point, where the young hero will rest forever.

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