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.