We Americans celebrate our country's 232nd birthday this week, the anniversary of the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1776.
One year later, Americans in Philadelphia set off bonfires and placed candles in the windows of their homes and public building. Bells in church towers rang out. Ships shot off their cannons. People throughout the thirteen colonies flew our country's flag, and shopkeepers displayed red, white and blue decorations. Veterans of the recent Revolutionary War marched in parades, and gathered together to hear the Declaration of Independence read aloud. In 1941, Congress declared the 4th of July a national holiday.
How do you celebrate our nation's birthday? As a child, I delighted in holding sparklers in my hands, tracing patterns with them in the night sky. Summers spent in Seattle with my Grandmother meant traveling to a park where I watched fireworks being set off over one of the city's lakes. Rollin and I spent our first 4th of July holiday together watching fireworks explode over Humboldt Bay.
This week, we will celebrate with that American summer tradition, a BBQ. Hamburgers, hot dogs, my Mom's recipe for potato salad, and my one pot beans will be enjoyed by all. Later that night we will gather in the driveway and watch our own mini fireworks show.
However you choose to celebrate this week's holiday, please stop for a moment to remember our country's humble beginnings, and say a little prayer thanking God for this great country we live in.
Warts and all, America is still a mighty fine place to be!