A long time ago, people who came here decided to free themselves from European reign. And they did. Which is why we celebrate the fourth of July, the day that the Declaration was approved and we officially became our own country.
But today, it's a day of grilled, processed meats, cheap glow sticks, and fireworks. Not that these things are bad - in fact this is one of my favorite holidays. But it's hard to remember that so long ago people had a vision for future generations and that we have lost sight of it. Sometimes we forget what we are celebrating because we get caught up in the hype - in fact, there is an app for organizing your Independence Day activities, available for BlackBerry. Not a joke. So before I recount our holiday experience, I wanted to remember the reason we call this a holiday. Because there are some people today who are not free and who are oppressed in various ways. And we aren't, and we don't usually stop to think about those who are and how lucky we are. As we acknowledged in Costa Rica, we didn't ask to be born into relatively affluent homes in America, nor did the kids from La Cruz ask to be born into much poorer homes with little opportunity. But we do have the power to acknowledge what we have and remember it.
So normally on this day we go to Nahant, Massachusetts for fireworks, Dunkin Donuts, and "the races", which if you don't know are this semi-lame but sort of fun tradition that we do simply because of its sentimentality. But today, like last year as well, we went down town to the American Legion and watched as they set off fireworks down there. It is actually quite a good show. Until the thunder came, and the lightning. And luckily we had brought a tent because then the floodgates opened and it was pouring. Everyone left, and our family was the only one left outside at 8 o'clock at night. I was pretty sure we were just going to leave and have no fireworks, which made me even more upset about not being home.
But then an hour later, in the rain, the first fireworks started. And they were great. We all sat huddled in the cold rain under the not-really-impervious tent, watching the beautiful fireworks, and their grey carcases as they drifted along the sky after amazing us with their spontaneity. It was a little fourth of July miracle - from the Founding Fathers and America.