For as long as I can remember, I have always loved the Fourth of July; it is one of my favorite holidays, right up there with Halloween and Christmas. Some people seem to think my excitement for the day is unnatural, but I think it is almost un-American to not want to go all out on our nation’s birthday. After all, as one of our founding fathers, John Adams wrote to his wife just after signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of the continent to the other from this time forward forevermore.”
There is no doubt that my favorite part of the holiday happens after the sun goes down. Sure, spending time with friends and family at cook-outs is great, but nothing beats watching the fireworks. I love to feel the boom as they go off and watch the different colors light up the sky. They are one of the few things in this world that no matter how old you get, can make you stare at the sky in wide-eyed wonderment like a five-year-old.
The only thing that could make a fireworks show better to me is if the last one to go off spelt out “Happy Fourth of July.” It would be the perfect way to end the evening and you wouldn’t have to sit there wondering if they would shoot off any more, once it said that you would know. I hope that at some point in my lifetime, someone will figure out how to do this. So, if any of you who are reading this know anything about pyrotechnics, please get to work on this project now.
However, no matter how much fun it is to watch fireworks, they are not what the Fourth of July is truly all about. It’s a day to celebrate something that our ancestors gave their lives for and something that sets our country apart from so many others. It’s a day to celebrate our freedom, which is something many of us often take for granted. I feel it is important to remember that while we may not always agree with how officials are running our nation, we still have the right to disagree, which is a rarity in other areas of the world. It is also why we should make sure to take time out from the activities of the day to remember those who have fought and are still fighting, for us to keep our freedom.
This year will mark 236 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed and America was born. The 56 men who bravely stepped up to do so ensured that we are all created equal and have been given the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If that is not a cause for celebration, then I don’t know what is. Happy Birthday America!