This July Fourth, as thousands gather for fireworks on the Eastern Prom, I’m grateful that the democracy of their many voices won’t be drowned out by the upbeat, patriotic and often martial music played in the recent past. Though it was well-intended and I appreciated the acknowledgment of veterans, the music only highlighted the disjunction between the principles of our immigrant founders and the reality of our country today.

Thank you, Portland Symphony Orchestra, but I’m glad we’re giving it a rest.

Margot McCain