Two Hundred and Thirty-One Years
Our nation's birthday, our 231st, July 4, 2007, is past. Our citizens have celebrated this year, each in our own way, across this country. Many small communities from coast to coast sponsor patriotic parades, generally composed of local residents. This has been true wherever I've lived, in the east and now here in the west. In addition to the parade of the military representatives from all branches of the service, and those still living from the various wars fought for our freedoms, we generally see city officials riding by, the local high school bands marching proudly, antique autos being driven by their owners accompanied by festively dressed family and friends.
Often there are red, white and blue streamers colorfully decorating bicycles ridden by young people of the community wheeling down the parade route. Some older bikers may be pulling equally colorful wagons filled with smaller children. Special novelty groups often band together and march, such as the precision team brief case brigade, business and professional men and women with their brief cases in hand engaging in various maneuvers. Residents of all ages line the streets, conversing and laughing with loved ones, often waving miniature American flags, applauding or calling to those recognized marchers. Each community probably creates and gives some unique quality to their parade.
Some 4th of July celebrations this year may even be postponed by a few citizens until this coming weekend, since this day fell on a Wednesday, exactly in the middle of the week. Actually, I'm having such a delayed celebration myself, with dear friends whose family will be coming from far and wide as is their annual tradition. I have considered our family, and now that there's just myself, quite fortunate over these years to have been so generously included in some of their annual celebration of various holidays.
For most in our country our Independence Day celebration occurs on the fourth, however. Often when the parade has passed, some watchers adjourn to nearby parks or recreation areas for picnics featuring the special fare each individual group prefers. Others may return home for outdoor barbecues with invited groups of friends and family. Those with access to a swimming pool will cool themselves in those waters. The children and young adults will engage in seemingly exhausting pool play consisting of games, diving, just generally splashing around in the water. Some adults may soon tire of water game participation, retiring to sun themselves or recline in available shade. Young lovers may separate from the group seeking privacy.
Later in the afternoon certain groups may travel to nearby designated stadium areas where special entertainment has been planned. Musical groups may appear, then as the skies darken, the entertainers show concludes, the real show that everyone came to see begins. Fireworks slowly explode into grander and more spectacular displays in that golden moon and star sprinkled sky that mesmerizes those watching.
The times have changed from the days of my childhood, even from those of my children when we often had some small select firecrackers we could light ourselves. I recall especially the sparklers, and snakes. Fireworks can no longer be purchased or set off for private individual use in our community, or that of surrounding cities. This is especially critical this year due to the dryness so early in the season that has our area a high fire risk. I can't help thinking that fire is not the only risk, that not just our community faces, but our whole country.
As our nation begins another year, the very foundation of our belief system, that was the basis for the founding of this country, is under duress. The strong values and moral beliefs the founders of our country endorsed, wrote into our Constitution and described in our Declaration of Independence have been under assault from within. We have seen this in many ways during the governance of our current administration including, but not limited to, their stating deliberate blatant falsehoods, disregarding human rights, engaging in practices above the law.
If you were busy celebrating our nation's Independence Day, as many were, maybe you missed at least two special blog posts, there are others. I would highly recommend you read these July 4th posts now. They pertain to our Declaration of Independence, why our founders sought independence in the first place, and the significance of those issues for each of us today.
You may click on these links to access these July 4th posts at:
"Time Goes By" - "The Fourth of July 2007" by Ronni Bennett
"Nobody Asked" - "Whither Liberty" by Winston Rand