I remember July 4th’s in rural Oklahoma. There would be family gatherings, of course, but the main attraction would always be a parade through town. Folks would start gathering along the parade route ahead of time, always bringing extra drinks and snacks for friends and family. Talk would be easy and full of excitement for the fun that would come. There were no hard words or raised voices, just good times for a small town.
And then the sirens from the volunteer firefighters and the school band! Excitement would build as the fun and noise began. The parade was short, of course, but boisterous and patriotic. Lots of American flags and cute kids and horse riders. Soon, the parade goers were past, and everyone would gather up their lawn chairs and cups so that they could attend family parties with homemade food and lots of prayers.
And in the city? I miss that closeness and emphasis on the reason for the holiday. There are a lot of fireworks and tons of food, but there seems to be very little patriotism.
Perhaps I’m just getting old and sentimental. Now my July 4th is more of a remembrance of the freedom so many fought and died for than a boisterous time. Too, with lots of furry kiddos, I am needed to calm them through the fireworks. Today–as with so many years–will most likely bring lots of frightened glances from kitties and doggy and desperate attempts on my part to get them through the evening.
My family wishes you a wonderful and happy holiday, but in the midst of the celebrations, spare some time to think of our independence. And if you plan to shoot off fireworks inside city limits, please be respectful of others.
How will you celebrate the holiday? Big parties or quiet times?