I ask myself, what does the 4th of July really mean to me…what does it bring up most in my heart?
I was raised a patriot. From the American flag fluttering from our front porch to knowing my dad served in the second World War, to my mother always stopping to buy one of those little doodads veterans sell in front of the Stop and Shop.
It’s no accident Yankee Doodle Dandy is my all time favorite film.
As a kid, seeing the Statue of Liberty was better than the Beatles as she stood in New York harbor waving to us, my mother always saying, “you see her, she’s to remind you how lucky you are to live in the United States of America.”
She’d always dab at her eyes with a Kleenex as she said this.
Reading American History repeatedly is one of my favorite pastimes, never tiring of it. I’ve gone up San Juan Hill with Teddy and his Rough Riders dozens of times. Been at Yorktown with Washington, Appomattox with Lee and Grant and have never missed a presidential inauguration…we yet swell the chorus of the union when again touched…by the better angels of our nature. Lincoln
The only thing we have to fear is – fear itself. FDR
Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. JFK
Of course, the 4th also brings up years of barbecues at my Auntie Ida’s drinking ice cold cokes and eating slippery chicken off of Scotchgard paper plates.
I think of bands playing, fireworks launched from the harbor that can even be heard way up here along with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams dying July 4th, 1826, on the same day.
There was that soldier named Noel I wrote to in Vietnam just to be nice. Was so glad I did, especially when his mom called to say he didn’t make it back.
To say Happy 4th does have a bittersweet feeling to it…rightfully so.