“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation…”
These patriotic words started our morning on the Fourth of July as Tim Dwyer recited the Declaration of Independence to help remind us of the true meaning of Independence and what kind of emotions the American colonists felt more than 200 years ago. After a quick yet inspiring review discussion on the American Revolution, we all put on our red, white, and blue to show off our patriotic pride. The Salish Sea Sciences students sat along the curb in front of the Spring Street school alongside hundreds of other people to watch the highly anticipated town parade. We all waved our flags and cheered on the countless floats and organizations found in Friday Harbor.
Feeling hungry for some classic barbecue, we followed the crowds of people to the town’s historical society’s picnic to get some good food and listen to the story of the Pig War: a battle over land that occurred right here in the San Juan Islands in 1859 between the United States and Great Britain! Following lunch, we got to explore the streets of Friday Harbor and experience the comforting feelings of a good ole small town Fourth of July. To finish up the fun afternoon activities, we all drove down to the local fields to battle it out with a game of soccer. Even with the many different levels of soccer skills, we all had a great time playing together.
The small town of Friday Harbor provided us with the wonderful experience of touring Friday Harbor labs. The lab’s inside held a beautiful array of libraries and rooms filled with knowledge on marine biology. More than just book education, the labs also stored an interesting touch tank where we all dipped our hands in to feel sea cucumbers, urchins and sea stars. After our tour on the inside of the Labs, Tim lead us to the living quarters of the labs where graduate students lived comfortably and the undergraduates lived in shacks. Nevertheless, all of the scientist there seemed enthused as they talked to us about their studies and teachings that they participated in at the labs.
To cap off our perfect day, we all watched the stunning fireworks on the shores of the labs. The show this year was many things but unmemorable wasn’t of them. The long and colorful explosions of colors lit up the sky for all to see. For one of us, this was the first time experiencing the beauty we call fireworks. This girl described the show as ‘real’ which to me, seemed like the most perfect explanation —even as someone who has observed fireworks for many years before.