What did the founders of our country mean when they spoke of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”?  I think now I understand.  Here we are free to celebrate.  We launch balls of glittering fire into the sky.  We deck entire cities in light and haul out giant Christmas trees. We hand out colored jelly beans in school to tell a story, or eat a birthday cake to commemorate a special someone.  On July fourth we celebrate our right to celebration, and what could be better than that?  Being the Azalea Festival representative has taught me the value of celebration.  Everywhere I go, people know how to party–even when we have the looming threat of a hurricane on the horizon.  It’s “live-like-you’re-dying” philosophy at its very finest.  Today it’s the seventh, and we’ve moved on from the streamers, parades, and drum rolls, but I hope that still we can find a way to celebrate these most precious of rights– life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Your Azalea Festival Princess,
Tori Mathew

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