Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

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!


Anonymous said...

Yes, the Fourth of July can be a truly magical occasion. I, too, remember holding my sparkler and being entranced with its beautiful display.
But. being a Californian myself, we don't need any more fires to light the night sky. We can celebrate our nation's birthday in style and in safety. No fireworks for me!

Pam Archer said...

With all of her faults and all of the qualms with and about her leadership, America is still the greatest nation. I am filled with gratitude to have been fortunate to have been born here and can call it home.

Beverly Mahone said...

The 4th of July is pretty quite around my home. I proudly display my flag to let my neighbors know I'm happy to live in the land of the free.