I Remember the Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July! I’ve been thinking about the evolution of this day over the course of my many years:

I remember fireworks!

I remember sparklers.

I remember skyrockets, the little kind we shot off at home.

I remember those spinner things.

I remember hearing fire crackers going off long past the hour I was sent to bed.

I remember driving up to an overlook on a road high above Los Alamos to watch fireworks thirty miles away in Santa Fe.

I remember my first bottle of beer when I was ten and how nasty it tasted so I only had a couple of sips and let my daddy finish the rest.

I remember parades.

I remember hoping my baby would be born that day and waiting another week.

I remember neighbors pooling their resources to have a halfway respectable show of sparks in our cul-de-sac.

I remember fighting slipping through crowds on Mt. Washington to watch the Zambelli spectacular high over Pittsburgh’s Point.

I remember hearing about the Colonists fighting the British so they could pursue liberty and freedom, without all those taxes.

I remember when the sales tax was 2¢ per dollar.

I remember when I could stand at the airline gate and wait for passengers to arrive.

I remember when you could lead a Brownie troop or coach Little League without being fingerprinted.

What does Independence mean today?

Fireworks and shopping.

Freedom Fair and street food.

Happy Fourth of July all!

Write now: about your memories of Independence Day celebrations and how your views on freedom and independence have changed over the years — or not.


Vanessa said...

One of the items of things I would like to experience in my life is to attend a 4th of July celebration. I hope it doesn't change completely before I have the chance :)

Ritergal said...

What fun to read comments like this from readers around the world. Vanessa is from South Africa, and author of a very fine blog, I Dream in Words, as well as a few others. Click on her name and check them out.

And Vanessa, the thought of it changing completely in your lifetime — now that's a scary thought!

Linda Austin said...

I took my 82-yr-old mother to our town's fireworks show and it brought beautiful memories to her of standing on a hilltop with her father watching the fireworks celebrating the Stars Festival in Japan. I felt blessed to be present in the joy of her memories.

~Kathi said...

My 4th of July celebrations feel much more memorable now. We've had a big everyone-we-know party for years, but had a forced two years' hiatus until this past week. The regrouping, focused on international (one member of the couple came from somewhere else than USA) and global-friendly folks was a reunion & we hope to meet now bimonthly.

Politically, I'm much more radical now than when we were told to dive under our desks to keep us from the Ruskies....

Cheers, ~Kathi

Karen L. Alaniz said...

What a great post. I love its simplicity. I would add to the "I remember..." a very recent 4th of July. After talking at length with my father about his WWII experiences, I *heard* the fireworks for the first time. They are the sound of war. I later learned that many veterans hate the 4th of July. Interesting, isn't it. The very holiday that we consider patriotic is the one that brings the most pain for many veterans. Anyway- I guess we all live and learn and grow. That knowledge has taken some of the child-like joy out of the holiday for me, but I still have vivid and wonderful memories of my childhood 4th of July's. ~Karen

Ken said...

I remember at age 12 riding from New Jersey over the George Washington Bridge to Greenwich Village in lower Manhatten to buy illegal fireworks for me and my friends. My parents never knew. Fortunately I was never injured, but it was a risky thing to do.