Posts Tagged ‘Fourth of July’

Happy Fourth of July

July 4, 2011

The room in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

Does the Fourth of July mean anything more than picnics, fireworks, and a day off work?  I have to admit that I sometimes wonder.  Now don’t get me wrong — I enjoy a picnic as much as anyone, and I absolutely loved a day off from work before I retired.  But even then there was something special about the Fourth of July.

This day commemorates the day when The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia in 1776.  The Declaration, containing the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”, is one of the most profound documents in history.

It used to be that most people felt this was a pretty special country.  We learned the history of our country — the people and places.  We said the Pledge of Allegiance in school, and the Star-Spangled Banner was played at school events.  We also learned how the song came to be written.  We learned the text of the Gettysburg Address, and knew the words to “My Country Tis of Thee”, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, and “America the Beautiful”.

I grew up on a farm outside a small town in Indiana.  Almost everyone in the area turned out for the Fourth of July parade, and the program before the fireworks display.  The fireworks themselves almost always included a representation of the Liberty Bell or the American flag.  We all felt we were a part of something very special.

The title of this blog is “Senior Moments”, and I’m getting more senior with each passing day.  I guess I’m rapidly becoming a curmudgeon.  If so, please forgive me.  I only wish my grandchildren realize that they, too, are part of a very special country.

I hope you all have a very wonderful — and happy — Fourth of July.

Happy Fourth of July

July 4, 2009
Fireworks at Opsail 2000, Norfolk, Virginia.  June, 2000.

Fireworks at Opsail 2000, Norfolk, Virginia. June, 2000.

Happy Fourth of July!  I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

What’s the Fourth of July without fireworks?  Since we were gone most of the day Friday helping my parents I didn’t have a great deal of time to go through my photo archives to find Fourth of July fireworks.  But I did find the photo above.  It was made in June of 2000 at Opsail 2000 in Norfolk, Virginia.

We’ll probably watch Knoxville’s concert and fireworks show on television.  The Knoxville Symphony is quite good and they have a very good fireworks display.  But  I’ll admit that I’m showing my age, especially when I remember the Fourth of July celebrations of years past.

For example, consider the concerts we hear nowadays.  They seem to be dominated by Broadway tunes, popular music or rock and roll.  Now there’s nothing particularly wrong with any of those, but whatever happened to Stars and Stripes Forever and the other patriotic songs we used to hear so much more often?

While I was out in the yard a couple of days ago I heard This Is My Country on my iPod.  Now I’m showing my age, but that song, by Don Raye and Al Jacobs, sums up what I feel about this country — not just on the Fourth of July, but every day of the year:

What difference if I hail from North or South
Or from the East or West
My heart is full of love for all of these.
I only know I swell with pride and deep within my breast,
I thrill to see old glory paint the breeze!

This is my country! Land of my birth!
This is my country! Grandest on earth!
I pledge thee my allegiance, America, the bold,
For this is my country to have and to hold.