The fireworks are already beginning here. I was leaving the market and putting groceries in my car when I heard a whoosh and the sky exploded with bright colors. After retrieving my skin from which I had jumped out of, I smiled.
We lived in a county for several years that did not allow fireworks. They were illegal for good reason since it was basically a desert and firestorms are not fun. This county allows fireworks, there are stands selling them on each block and in each parking lot. I love seeing the sky light up in celebration.
In 1976, my dear hubby and I were sent overseas for his military duty. It was the bicentennial of our country. A part of me was saddened that we would not be here to celebrate this wonderful birth date of our country. We were in Japan. On July 3rd of 1976 a typhoon hugged the coast and it poured. I had never experienced a typhoon at that point. The base was having a celebration with USO concerts and there was a big flea market with local vendors. There was also a big parade planned. We lived about 15 minutes from the base and so we planned on attending all of the festivities.
The fourth arrived and it was cold. I literally wore my winter coat on the 4th of July. I will never forget standing, watching the parade. Winter coat on, and water up to my ankles and still coming down. It was wonderful. It was America, it was home.
We attended some of the concerts until we were so wet we couldn’t stand it any more and then we went home. Obviously, with the rain and the wind, the fireworks were cancelled for that night. But, somehow, it didn’t matter. We had gathered with other people, all a bit homesick and we made a celebration.
A couple weeks later the fireworks were set off. They were the most incredible fireworks I have ever seen. This country of Japan did all they could to gift the residents of the base with a celebration worthy of a bicentennial birthday. There was a firework birthday cake with candles on it. There was a statue of liberty in fireworks, there were red, white and blue fireworks galore. The show lasted for over an hour. The Navy band played every patriotic song ever written. It was memorable.
Before my hubby and I left for our tour of duty overseas, someone told us that our feeling about our country would change. That is all they said. I didn’t understand at that time what they meant. I began to understand on our first fourth of July celebration there. It was a stirring in our hearts that occurred. We love the country of Japan. It is part of our hearts. We miss so much about it. Living there, though, made us realize the deep, unwavering love we have for our America. We became flag wavers there. We love our red, white, and blue. I sob when I hear our national anthem. I do the same when I hear any other song depicting our country. So, today, I want to say, “Thank you” to our Lord for giving us this land. A “Thank you” to our founding fathers, they braved so much to create the foundation of this country. They gave us the right to disagree with one another on issues, and the right to say what we believe and think. We are a blessed country and I, for one, am so grateful for it. Happy Birthday America.
Thanks for stopping by, DAF