Those who know me also know that Independence Day is my favorite holiday. As a youth growing up in Cameron MO, your typical Midwest small town America there was nothing better than seeing the town all dressed up with American flags and red white and blue banners. The American Legion made sure anyone who wanted a flag in their yard had one!
The week leading up to the 4th the air was filled with the smell of smoke bombs, snakes, bottle rockets, black cat firecrackers, roman candles and our kitchen was filled with the smells of mom baking pies and cream puffs from scratch. All this was building up to the 4th of July parade led by the fire department and the fireworks display in Recreation Park with the community band preforming in the old band shelter.
As a small child I remember my father smoking a cigar each 4th so he could use it to light the fireworks with it. afterwards our own firework show my mom and dad would take out the window screen in my brother and mine bedroom so we could all take our lawn chairs onto the kitchen roof from which we had a great view of the city firework show to the south.
As a fifteen year old who could forget celebrating the Bi-Centennial, to this day I’m still thankful to be born in a time to observe as a youth such a milestone in our great county’s history. My patriotism starts as a youth when my mom would remind me that I shared my birthday with the signing of the “United States Constitution” and with reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” each day before classes, for those who have not heard it in a while it goes like this…
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Then there was all my years in Scouts and the Scout Oath..
“On my honor I promise that I will do my best,
To do my duty to God and my Country,
To help other people at all times and
To obey the Scout Law.”
As I’ve grown older these words have come to mean more to me than just a pledge or oath I had to recite before class or meeting.
As for our National Anthem or God Bless American, if you are going to a sporting event with me don’t even plan on showing up just before the start, I expect to be in my seat before our Anthem is played, regardless of the performance this will always give me chills and bring a tear to my eyes.
For those who have served our county in our military, you have my upmost respect and thanks; I looked into the Air Force but was not able to serve our county due to being almost deaf in one ear. Outside of the original patriots of the thirteen colonies it is our veterans who we owe the most to…
Trust me there is nothing wrong with having Christmas, Thanksgiving or even Easter as your favorite holiday, but for me it is Independence Day which is the reason we are all free to have our favorites.
Happy Birthday America