Americans are united by the summertime tradition surrounding Independence Day. Festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to family gatherings and barbecues are marked on calendars to indicate America’s birthday . In large and small towns alike families gather on either side of main street with their woven lawn chairs while children, with hands sticky from lemonade, perch on the curbs in heightened anticipation waiting for the first firetruck to sound its siren signaling the start of the parade. A convertible car provided by the local dealership transports the mayor to the reviewing stand while young and old alike proudly wave American flags as they stand in salute of the marching armed services men and women. Politicians zig zag the route, shaking hands and kissing babies, as the marching band plays a barely discernable God Bless America. Clowns on unicycles toss candy into the crowd as the baton twirlers twirl and the jugglers juggle.
Backyard barbeques are fired up and hamburgers and hotdogs are consumed by even the most health conscience. Grandma’s secret potato salad recipe is unveiled, a jello mold is mandatory and deserts ripe with cherries are abundant. Cousins at play in the sprinkler forget the heat of the day and are forgiven their naps and adults break out the board games or cards and trade stories of “remember when”.
Dusk approaches and the fireflies flash unaware that their light show is about to be overshadowed by a sky filled with magical explosives. The brightly colored sparkles glimmer filling the night sky, stealing the show at the end of the day. Fireworks remind us of the wonder that fills our country, our hope that never fails as we pause and take this time to express our gratitude for the freedom we hold so dear.
“For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wishing all a Happy Independence Day!