This year, we were blessed to spend the week surrounding Independence Day several thousand feet above most. The evening of July 4th, we pulled into an overpass to watch fireworks from above. The modest southern town put on a most impressive display…bigger, louder and brighter than anything I had ever seen before.
Unfortunately, my children inherited my absolutle terror of heights. As my children ran, playing with others along the rickety wooden fence that separated them from a several-hundred-foot drop, I made sure to safely position the chairs we would never use behind a concrete curb. It was getting dark and I was anxious…in fact, they probably would have been fine, had I not said anything in the first place.
As the fireworks began over the town below, it illuminated the cliff only feet in front of us. My son had had enough, and wanted to sit in the car where it was “safe”.
So, we sat. We could not see the fireworks from behind the trees where out vehicle was parked, except the occasional colorful twinkle between branches. Eventually, my son became deeply conflicted: stay where he felt safe in the car, or let mom go watch the fireworks she looked forward to each year.
As he sat in my lap in the front passenger seat, I explained to him that, to me, what the fireworks represented meant so much more to me than the fireworks themselves. We talked about George Washington, our Fore-fathers, the Declaration of Independence, our military and fallen heroes. As the finale began (the 10+ minute finale), my son drifted off to the warm glow and distant rumblng from beyond the hills.
Though I did not get to see the lightshow this 4th, I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything. To simply sit there was one of those moments I will always remember….with pride in my heart, and love on my lap.
That being said, nobody celebrates their love of country like America’s southerners. I’ll gladly take the patriotism over the beer, brats,
and BBQ any year!