The Fourth of July is one of my very favorite holidays – after Christmas, that is. The reason? I am so grateful for this country and the many, many opportunities it affords me. I get teary-eyed when I look at all the waving flags on the Fourth, the bold red and white stripes dotting the lawns and decorating the buildings around my neighborhood. I take great pride in the fact that I am an American. I realize it’s a privilege to vote – both as a citizen and as a woman. I have the freedom to speak my mind, to travel across the country unimpeded, to worship how I please, to assemble in protest or support, and many others. I recognize that all of this would not be possible without the sacrifice, dedication, and courage of great men and women.
Every year on the Fourth, I typically watch 1776, a musical based on the events surrounding our Declaration of Independence. Everytime I watch that show I get goosebumps and realize just how much was on the line for these men to start a new country, a new civilization free from tyranny and oppression. No more dictatorship, just the opportunity to govern ourselves. Those men were giants with great foresight into what this country could (and would) become. They weren’t perfect but they certainly were courageous and most of them lost their fortunes putting their names on paper to a document that if found, would most certainly mean their death. You can read more here regarding all 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Just a little trivia fact: the youngest signer? Edward Rutledge – age 26. The oldest? Benjamin Franklin – age 70.
I’m celebrating today by running 8 miles across this beautiful country, biking 10 miles, attending Kaysville’s Liberty Days to see the parade and enjoy the carnival atmosphere, and tonight I will enjoy fireworks. I can sit on my front porch with Caden and have a perfect view of the fireworks shooting off from Lagoon and further South along the valley. I always think of the refrain from the Star Spangled Banner: and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there.
Happy Fourth of July!
p.s. Congrats, my baby sister Allison, on completing your first 5K!! You’re hooked now, aren’t you? 🙂