Friday, July 4, 2008

Remembering Independence Day Celebrations

Today is Independence Day. It's a good day to remember the Independence Day celebrations in your life. As a child what did your family do on Independence Day. I never saw fireworks until I was in high school, but every year our little town of 300 people had its own Fourth of July celebration. It started with a parade. Any one in town who wanted to be in the parade could be. You could decorate your car or truck or trailer or wagon. You could decorate your trike, bike, little red wagon or you could just walk waving a flag as you went. There usually wasn't a band, but one year when I was in high school all the band members decided to march in our town's parade. We had more than a dozen members and the band was a real addition to the parade. Usually after the parade there was a program commemorating the founders of our country. We would pledge allegiance to the flag and sing the Star Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs. In the afternoon would be races on the school lawn. It seemed I always came in last in my age group's race. Softball and baseball games were played in the afternoon. I still remember the year someone hit a baseball and broke the windshield of our car. We didn't park so close to the field after that. Sometimes a rodeo would be held in the evening.
As I raised my children we lived in a city. A parade was held on July Fourth in our neighborhood, so we would go to watch the parade. There were a few carnival rides set up at the park a couple of blocks from us, so we would go to the carnival and then in the evening at the park there would be fireworks set off, so we would go to watch them.
Then we moved to a small town in western Nevada. Here there was a big celebration for Armed Forces Day, but nothing was done on the Fourth of July. If you wanted to celebrate the Fourth of July with a parade or fireworks, you had to travel at least 50 miles or more. The past few years efforts have been made to have something here for an Independence Day celebration. It was found that fireworks could be purchased cheaply if arranged with a company that had set off fireworks in another city or town to do a fireworks display on July 5th on their way back. So now we could travel elsewhere for a celebration on the 4th or we can camp or picnic close to home and then on the 5th we can watch fireworks.
Maybe our way of celebrating the Fourth of July isn't really interesting to you, but the way you celebrate the Fourth of July may be very interesting to your grandchildren and great grandchildren. It can be another important part of you story.

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