HSS USA wishes all fellow Americans a Happy Independence Day on July 4th, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Hindu Americans and volunteers of HSS USA are proud to call the United States – the land of the free and the home of the brave – their home. And like every year, many of them came forward to participate and volunteer in the momentous celebrations all over the country.
In North Carolina, over 100 HSS volunteers walked in the 4th of July parade, a few playing traditional Hindu and American patriotic tunes on their band instruments. They were cheered by the onlooking crowds and welcomed warmly by the organizers. In Texas, HSS was recognized as “Friends of the Event” at a city-organized Independence Day fest. A group of teenage and adult volunteers of HSS also helped out the organizers at the town’s annual celebration with set up, crowd management, and cleaning afterward. In the San Jose area of California, HSS volunteer families participated in the “Red and White Parade.” Young children in ethnic outfits walked enthusiastically, holding the American flag and posters on Yoga and Spirituality. HSS USA designed these posters as part of Darshana – a traveling educational exhibition about the Hindu civilization.
HSS organizes youth and leadership development camps nationwide to train its volunteers each summer. Attendees of these camps, including trainers, trainees, and support staff, celebrated July 4th this year by hoisting the star-spangled banner and singing the national anthem. These celebrations occurred at multiple locations, from Indiana to Southern California and Washington State to upstate New York.
July 4th is also an important day for Hindus worldwide, as it marks the death anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, who introduced the West, especially the US, to Hindu philosophy and Yoga. He passed away on this day in the year 1902. HSS would like to remember the contributions of Swami Vivekananda, including his famous speech at the Parliament of World Religions, which is a source of inspiration for peace, harmony, and well-being of all people of the world.