Happy Independence Day 2015

The Pursuit of Happiness in Yosemite 

By John P. DeGrazio 

Yosemite-Glacier-Point-YExplore-DeGrazio-JUL2014
Sunset from Glacier Point with Half Dome, Clouds Rest, the Cathedral Range, & Mt. Watkins by John P. DeGrazio

239 years ago, the founders of this nation held certain truths to be self evident “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I read the Declaration of Independence this morning, as is my custom. This time I read it to my ten year old daughter. Although the language prevents her from fully understanding the magnitude of the document, she is beginning to learn the meaning of this holiday.

10 years ago today, I was in Minnesota pursuing my own happiness on a cross country journey to California from New York with my family. We arrived in this new land with only a dream. Without knowing another soul, we settled in Sonora and laid the foundation for YExplore. Many sacrifices were made over the following 10 years, but they pale in comparison to the sacrifices shared by those who made that declaration, fought for, and eventually earned their independence. My independence has been achieved away from the “old world” and I am forever grateful to those who fought for and continue to make the ultimate sacrifices for this nation.

There are so many ways to celebrate the Fourth and every other day we are free. I am not a big fan of fireworks but enjoy traveling to various national parks to watch the sky “light up”. I would have to say my favorite place to do that is in Yosemite National Park. Here is an image from a display last July at Glacier Point. Happy Independence Day.

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