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Happy Third of July

The day before a big holiday just doesn’t get any respect, and none more than July 3.

Everybody is gearing up for the big July 4 holiday, with plans for the beach, pool and cookouts.

Mom and apple pie and all that red, white and blue consume us from sunup to sundown, but July 3 is basically a get-away day, as folks contend with tons of traffic and pre-holiday headaches.

Still, lots of important things have happened on July 3, more important to some than others.

I went online – I don’t think it’s cheating because I can’t remember a lot of things on my own anymore - and found a listing of “notable” events on July 3, so here goes:

w 2012: Antonio Esfandiari wins a record $18.3 million in poker after winning the 2012 World Series of Poker $1,000,000 Buy-in.

w 2006: Asteroid labeled as 2004 XP14 flies 432,308 km (268,624 miles) by Earth.

w 1997: Mississippi becomes first state to settle tobacco suit.

w 1988: The Faith Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, providing the second connection between the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus.

w  1976: After 12 years, Brian Wilson performs with the Beach Boys.

w 1952: Puerto Rico’s constitution is approved by U.S. Congress.

What’s notable to some may not be to others, and July 4 also has fallen into the category of “just another day off” for many of us.

It’s wise to remember that no matter how tired or overworked we may feel every morning that a lot of men and women are sacrificing their careers and family lives to keep us free.

The fact we can drive to work and drive home without a checkpoint at every corner or “Big Brother” watching over us at our workplaces is something to consider.

Most of us have an opinion on the national privacy issues currently being debated in the continuing saga of former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden.

Those opinions aside, I still would rather be an American and a Virginian than anything else.

Happy Fourth of July (and Third of July).