Friday, July 4, 2008

Don't Tread on Me

Happy 232nd Birthday America!!

This is my most favorite National Holiday. And not just b/c I get to watch mid-season major league baseball, be barefoot, or attend block party BBQ's and drink cold beer while the kids run around like maniacs (though those things are all quite nice indeed).

I have fond adult memories of being in towns like Chicago & Washington DC where live symphony orchestras play Sousa marches & the fireworks displays literally knock your socks off! Conversely, I've been to many a local 4th of July parade in nearby beach towns like Huntington or Seal, where everyone is in flip flops & tank tops, cruising around on their bikes & slurping up melting popsicles. But best of all? Being a Mama & seeing the absolute wonder on my daughters face when (gasp! illegal) sparklers and pinwheels light up the pavement at dusk.

I'm also old enough to remember 1976, our Nation's 200th birthday. It was the year the Freedom Train traveled across the country (it actually came to my hometown of Long Beach CA - crazy that we still had train tracks in our city to accommodate it). I remember it being a time when every home on our block flew an American Flag from their porch. It was also a time when we all had patches ironed/sewn on to our jeans of peace signs w/ an American Flag background (remember those?). The Bicentennial Celebration made us feel super patriotic & proud of our country and there was no shame in it, as there seems to be now. We ran around barefoot, played kick the can & flag football in the street, climbed trees & ate 25 cent candy bars with our allowance money. Jimmy Carter became President & his daughter Amy was my age (which was totally weird). At my elementary school, we sewed Betsy Ross flags, wore white cotton bonnets, hung red white & blue banners from the windows, and then had a pageant on the playground. Our parents sat on the grass munching on yummy picnic snacks & clapped along w/ us as we sang & marched. I'll never forget 1976. It's certainly my most memorable childhood Independence Day celebration (probably because it lasted all year long - LOL).

What do YOU remember?

Happy Independence Day everyone, I hope you have a great time w/ your families & friends.

The End.

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