Originally posted on July 4, 2011
I remember as a kid there was always a buzz about the Fourth of July. The energy, the positive karma, the celebratory atmosphere combined to create riveting electricity during this most festive of summer days.
There were the backyard barbeques, the trips to the Rosedale Cabana Club or maybe even a family gathering at Beaver Dam or a trip to Ocean City. All of the Moms seemed to effortlessly orchestrate the day’s activities as they bunkered down alongside the picnic tables with reclining beach chairs. They covered themselves with oil, baked in the sun and policed the food supply so that neither the Dads nor the kids would get too far ahead of themselves.
This Holiday has a flow to it and the Moms are the maestros.
The late morning of the Holiday gave way to lunch time and lunch time to an early supper. We migrated from snacks to hotdogs and burgers to chicken, ribs and sometimes steak accompanied by corn on the cob. Then came the watermelon…
Swimming, diving, frolicking, volleyball, whiffel ball and basketball were in play throughout the day which upon reflection almost always seemed to be sunny and warm.
As the sun fizzled out, we knew that it was time to move on and continue our celebration. When the darkness of night fell we would feast our eyes upon a beautiful cascade of lights seemingly falling from the heavens above.
It was and still is an annual summer fiesta – a Thanksgiving in July.
During those formative years most of us never fully embraced the true meaning of the Fourth of July – Independence Day. Perhaps we were just too young to absorb the significance of the day; maybe our youthful exuberance was simply just too intoxicated by the sights, sounds and smells of this glorious and celebratory day.
The day was all about fun and then one day we woke up and we became our parents and then it was all about enabling the fun for our children.
Then the children went on their way to do their own thing apart from the families like teenagers do and suddenly the day became all about fun for us again. That is exactly where I find myself today.
One kid is off to Hershey Park, another to the beach while I look forward to celebrating the day with my beautiful wife and our friends. It’s funny how things run in cycles like that. One day there will be grandchildren and that will trigger another cycle and so on.
What a day this is…
As an adult now I find more time to take pause and give thought to what this day, Independence Day really means. Of course it’s all about freedom and preserving freedom, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
So while we celebrate, let’s take pause and remember the forefathers of our great nation as well as our leaders and the armed forces who put themselves in harm’s way to preserve something that unfortunately we take for granted far too often.
As I was reminded in an email from a friend earlier this week, only two defining forces have ever offered to die for us – Jesus Christ and the American soldier, one for your soul the other for your freedom.
Freedom is the soldier’s gift to us.
While we’re celebrating and making memories let’s remember and celebrate them by saying “Thank you.”
Have a safe and wonderful Holiday!