The time frame between July 1 and 4 is full of celebrations across the continent, national "birthdays" commemorated with patriotism and happiness. Though there was a time our family also celebrated that is not so much the case anymore. But as others remember formative events of their nations, This time recalls formative events for me too.
I never thought I'd be the kind of person who cared about milestone anniversaries or dates. As most of you know, I'm absent minded enough that I often forget what day it is or how old I really am. I never remember numbers because they are meaningless to me and I find them somewhat arbitrary. People can recognize them or not as they see fit. One man considers some days more sacred and another sees every day alike.
So it turns out I'm normally the latter, but when it comes to specific milestones, I've ended up becoming the former. My birthday never meant anything to me until I reached 30 (and then I hated it--it means only that I'm even older than I thought). I always did like the metric system and multiples of ten because I could understand them, unlike most math. So those milestones seem to make me stop and remember. Whether it's ten, seventy, ninety, or one hundred years, it seems right to remember, especially now. Even in sadness.
All of that said, the assigning of significance to certain dates, though arbitrary, is an (often unacknowledged) way of pointing to the relationship we should have with the giver of all meaning. We look for meaning in even the most mundane things because we know it exists in the deepest part of our beings. We know there is significance to life, even those that are gone. And, as I've mentioned before, the marking of time means we're coming closer every day to the culmination of all things. The point when time and our sojourn end and it turns out the milestones were only monuments to a brief separation after all. They only mark the time it took to get home.