July Fourth Musings, Life

July Fourth Musings

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Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw at freedigitalphotos.net

Rather than try to wax profound as the United States celebrates July Fourth, I thought I’d share some of my favorite images of this special holiday.

One of my favorite times celebrating our nation’s independence was spent with friends in a small town in Colorado. I remember games, country music, the tempting scent of burgers grilling on the barbecue. Children ran about everywhere. We picnicked on blankets in the park and talked and laughed. Of course there were fireworks. The entire community came out to celebrate on this day.

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Image courtesy of jarndt at morguefile.com

Small town parades draw everyone out. Rarely fancy, they are always heartfelt and patriotic with children and adults alike waving flags, veterans marching, fire engines passing along with others who represent the community.

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Image courtesy of scmitee at morguefile.com

People bring out fried chicken, sandwiches, potato salad, soda (or pop, or Coke—depending on where you live) and a blanket to share with neighbors and friends.

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Image courtesy of Michal Marcol at freedigitalphotos.net

Who doesn’t love a drippy, yummy ice-cream cone to cool down with on July Fourth? That and watermelon seed spitting contests make for tasty eats.

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Image by Jeanne Takenaka

 Children and sparklers go together (yes, with adult supervision) on July Fourth. Fascination brightens their eyes as they watch sparks light up the night.

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Image courtesy of noppasinw at freedigitalphotos.net

As day fades to night, fireworks split the darkness to the oohs and aah’s of the audience. Families sit in lawn chairs or lounge on blankets, their eyes following the vibrant colors that paint the night sky. A few yawns escape from the youngest in the crowd, but those fireworks still awe every person.

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Image courtesy of Michael Elliott at freedigitalphotos.net

Though we  live in different environs—some of us in big cities, others in small towns, or something in between—we share a history. We come together to celebrate our country’s heritage. Hard fought battles that secured our freedom and lives sacrificed birthed a new way of life.

Our forefathers endured much as they drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence. We’ve been guaranteed privileges few other nations enjoy. May we not forget the price those who went before us paid so we could live in freedom.

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Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at freedigitalphotos.net

As part of our family’s Fourth of July celebration, we will pray for those in whose hands our country’s future rests. Will you join us?

Happy Independence Day!

What about you? How do you celebrate the Fourth of July? Do you have any traditions? Special memories? For my friends living in other countries, what are important national holidays? How do you celebrate them?

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9 thoughts on “July Fourth Musings”

  1. One of my favorite 4th of July memories? The two 4th of July holidays that we celebrated overseas when my husband was stationed in Turkey. It seems odd to write this now, because at the time I was homesick for a good, old-fashioned American 4th of July. But the Americans stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey banded together to celebrate with pride, all the traditional fixings of hot dogs, hamburgers, and a makeshift sense of family that happens when you’re in the military. When the national anthem played, I wept because yes, I was overwhelmingly thankful to be an American.

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    1. I can only imagine how that must have been! Living in another country and celebrating our country with fellow Americans. Truly unforgettable. I like that, “Family happens when you’re in the military.” So true. Your comment also reminds me of the anticipation we have as Christians—celebrating here with fellow “family members” certain things here, knowing we’ll be “home” one day. I love that your homesickness was helped by celebrating with others who probably felt the same way. Thank you for stopping by today!

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  2. When I was younger, it was always a barbeque of some kind – the neighborhood would join together in the evening and shoot off fireworks (too far from any professional displays). The last year we did any fireworks with other people, a teenager lit a cherry bomb (illegal in that area) – I was hit in the face with part of the casing when it went off. No major damage, just a lot of bruising.

    In recent years, Lori and I would go to my grandmother’s house on the lake (before she sold the house) and get together with her and cousins. We’d barbeque fresh salmon, among other things, and sit at the lake goofing off and waiting until dark. All the roads by the lake would close, and the lake authority would put on a pretty good display over the lake.

    Mostly, it was a time for our family to get together and goof off.

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    1. Fireworks over water are always beautiful, with the reflection shining up and the lights above you. What fun memories you have! Okay, except perhaps for being hit in the face by the shrapnel of a cherry bomb. 🙂 Have a wonderful Fourth, Gabe!

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  3. Thanks, Jeanne, for your ponderings! I really appreciated the reminder to be thankful for the sacrifices of those from America’s earliest days…as well as those who safeguard our freedom and our nation today. And, thank you for helping me remember a very fond memory of July 4th; when I was 3, I celebrated with my aunt & uncle (who were like a bonus set of parents for me) and my cousins. If you can believe this, we climbed a ladder to the top of their one-story house and watched the fireworks…from the roof! I sat there, safe and secure in my uncle’s lap, with no fear whatsoever, watching the wonders in the sky. Things have sure changed….in this day and age I can’t imagine climbing up on the roof to watch ANYthing…..but it is a sweet memory!

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    1. What a fun memory, Mel. And to feel the safety of your uncle’s protective arms around you on the roof. I love it. I’m not much of a roof climber these days either. Have a wonderful Fourth!

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    1. Sounds like fun, Jennifer. And strawberries are a treat anytime. How fun that they are also an important part of Canada Day festivities. 🙂 I hope your celebration yesterday was fun.

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