How to Really Celebrate 4th of July
Tomorrow is July 4th, the celebration of our country’s birth.
This is the day – or around the day – when men, filled with good intentions, stood up for what they believed to be right.
They did this with long thought and at great risk.
They brainstormed and argued with one another.
They compromised for the common good.
In the end, they stood united, signed a document and created a country that is still alive today.
While America has been around for 237 years, from a historical perspective our country is and often acts like an unseasoned juvenile still growing into its clothes.
Yet, in our short history, we have accomplished a lot. We’ve created a democracy – no small feat as we see the events unfold in Egypt and in other countries seeking to become more democratic.
The process was and remains ugly, chaotic, infuriating and a test of wills and patience. But it is the price we pay for being independent and in our never ending search for freedom of all shapes, sizes and colors.
It is a day worthy of celebration.
My Best 4th of July
One of my best July 4th celebrations was a very long time ago. We were sitting on the grass one very hot and muggy evening in Grant Park in Chicago in the early ’80’s.
Jane Byrne was the first and only female Mayor to date of the City. In her marketing efforts to revitalize the City and stem suburban migration, she introduced citywide parties and events to Chicagoans. There had always been the St. Patty’s Day Parade, but Jane added more citywide celebrations and all where on a grand scale.
Thanks to Jane, that humid evening was the first time I witnessed the 1812 overture with choreographed fireworks. I had never experienced fireworks with music. The combination made for a soul stirring experience — at least for me.
I still remember the fireworks reflecting in Lake Michigan making the gigantic fireworks display seem bigger than it was. It felt like we were actually inside the fireworks.
To this day, I can skip the burnt hot dogs, potato salad and cherry pie. What makes the 4th complete for me is witnessing a fireworks display with the 1812 blasting away in the background. That’s all I need.
I’d like to share this experience with you. I was able to find this is a short YouTube (3.24 minutes) of the Boston Pop celebration with the 1812.
I hope you enjoy it. Turn up your speakers and feel free to pass it along to others.
Wishing you a great 4th of July and stay safe.