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This July 4th marks the 240th birthday of our great nation, and after a year scarred by politics, division and tragedy, a good old fashioned birthday party to honor the occasion might be exactly what we need.  

I will celebrate in my family’s traditional fashion. We will fire up the grill and invite the neighbors.  The menu will include hot dogs, burgers and all the fixins. Brian, Melissa and their boys will walk across the backyard with a big Tupperware bowl of fruit salad and Wanda will get her husband, Pete, to hand-crank a freezer of homemade ice cream.

As the last glow of sunlight surrenders to nightfall, the leftovers will be covered and a collection of yard chairs and lawn blankets will be strategically arranged so everyone can view the local fireworks from the comfort of our front lawn. The kids will chase lightning bugs and the dogs will howl. Except Maggie, the black lab–she’ll have to be put in the house.

Happy Birthday, America!  Here’s to the land of opportunity, where every citizen is afforded the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!  

As you pursue your own happiness, you might want to also consider pursuing your Industrial Hygiene MESH Certificate and help to ensure the happy, healthy lives of others.


Holli SingletonHolli Singleton is the Assistant Director of Safety & Health Services at NC State Industry Expansion Solutions. In addition to managing the services offered by the Safety and Health Specialists, she develops and presents workplace safety and health education courses, conducts work site assessments and provides occupational safety and environmental assistance to employers throughout the southeastern region of the United States.