This weekend, many of us will be attending parades, picnics and fireworks and picnics to celebrate Independence Day. That’s fun (unless you’re not a fan of fireworks), but there are lots of people who won’t be here to join in the Fourth of July festivities. Regardless of your political affiliation, we’re all indebted to those who have served or are currently serving in our armed forces. My grandfather served in World War II, my dad served around the end of the Vietnam War, and my brother-in-law served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan (his favorite holiday is Veteran’s Day). Add in an unending appreciation for our history and everything this country stands for, and you can understand why I have such a soft spot for patriotic holidays. Earlier this week, Heather (aka @prTini) and I and I got to thinking: What could we do to remind people to take a couple minutes to honor the military who fight for our country and reflect on why celebrate Independence Day?

And, that’s when #WhyWeCelebrate was born. (This is what happens when we meet up for drinks at Happy Hour…) The goal is to use social media to keep the “why” of Independence Day in the forefront of our minds. But, we need your help.

#WhyWeCelebrate: Get Involved

  • Join the Facebook page and post photos, stories and anecdotes to tell us what Independence Day means to you.
  • Follow WhyWeCelebrate on Twitter and share a memory or words of appreciation using the #WhyWeCelebrate hashtag
  • Use the #WhyWeCelebrate tag when you check in at fireworks celebrations on Foursquare
  • Thank a veteran and/or current member of the military and share their story online.
  • Blog about your relationship with a member of our armed services, or how someone you know has been impacted by war.
  • Share links on Facebook, Twitter or your social network of choice from newspapers and blogs around the country that articulate the true meaning of Independence Day. Remember to use the #WhyWeCelebrate hashtag so we can all see!
  • Post photos and videos from your community’s July 4th celebration.

Please feel free to share this with whoever you like. If this touches one soldier or helps one American reflect about their freedoms, then I’ll be satisfied with it … but I’m hoping we can reach many more than that.

This is very much an evolving project. If you have ideas about how we can get more people involved or what we can do to make it bigger and better, let me know. Send suggestions and recommendations to mike [@] 30lines.com. In the meantime, feel free to start tweeting, blogging and Facebooking about this. Let’s see how many people we can get to join in!

Happy Fourth of July.

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