Fireworks, hot dogs, apple pie, Chevrolet, stars and stripes, BBQs, sparklers, firecrackers, hopscotch, parades… they all incite similar things to Americans. Sure, we all add our own versions. Some add camping, ice cream, naps, vacations. Others add motorcycles, family reunions, and kayaking.
Last night, our family went to our local fireworks display. It was the first time for our son-in-law to experience fireworks with us. We’re pretty proud of our fireworks here.
We deposited ourselves on the concrete steps of the local elementary school early so we had a good, close view. Friends and family sauntered in to join us as the evenings display drew nearer… by 10pm our number grew from 13 (okay, not so small to begin with)… to nearly 25 of us sprawled out in chairs and blankets…amidst hundreds or thousands of people in our community…. young and old.
At 10pm sharp, the music began and we experienced the sights and sounds of celebration. For 30 minutes, we screeched and hollered, while the kids squealed in awe at the amazing display we call fireworks. The smell of gun powder was thick. The smoke would surge, and then be carried away by the breeze. The ash would fall as we all watched intently to see where the next one would land.
As we crept slowly home through the traffic, the thought crossed my mind…234 years ago, Americans gained our freedom. Freedom we do not take lightly. And although we sometimes take it for granted, we are free.
Today, I deeply appreciate the men and women who have fought so valiantly for our freedom. I pause… even if it is for a brief moment… and am profoundly grateful for our forefathers, who diligently persevered through seemingly impossible circumstances and situations, for rights we now call “inalienable”.
Happy Birthday America!