It’s the time of year to celebrate this country’s independence from Great Britain. There was of course lots of drama involved in getting this country up and running, with differing opinions, treasonous activities, war, and all kinds of back and forth, but in the end, freedom was had. 

Those who were there did not always behave well – politics, slavery, terrible Native American relationships to say the least – but there is no denying this country earned a new start and built a foundation that tries to encourage the best in us still today. As I very much believe, we are all a work in progress, including this young country.

(Side note of trivia that I love to share – One of the representatives that signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of the State of Georgia was named Button Gwinnett. Don’t you just love that name? I’m sure there is some remarkable story to go with that name, and I am inclined to believe in some romantic origin of adorableness. I may be way off on that.)

The first 4th of July celebrations included concerts, bonfires, parades, firing of cannons and muskets, reading of the Declaration of Independence, and fireworks. Can you imagine the celebrations that were happening when this country was brand new? I know there were many who were not happy with the decision to form a new nation, but obviously the majority had cause to revel in the occasion. And I bet they not only revelled, but they rejoiced and thanked their God.

July 4th celebrations around the country in modern times include some of the very same things the early Americans observed. I’ve even been to a fabulous Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert that included the firing of cannons! We love our summer holidays and of course, food makes them even better. We may cook, go to parades, barbeque, swim, play ball, travel, visit with loved ones, or picnic to take advantage of this special day. 

And we cannot forget about fireworks. Every year it seems they get more elaborate and wonderful. I just love the variety, but I’m a sucker for the simple and classic giant blooms.

What does this Independence Day look like for you? Are your celebrations going to be different as covid-19 continues to keep us separated from each other? And have the recent race discrimination discussions, demonstrations, and protests changed how you view what freedom should look like for ALL Americans?

We are planning to camp with our daughter’s family in their big backyard. We can gather with this small group and stay outside most of the time, celebrating the joy of summer and being together, while cooking, playing, picnicking, having a bonfire, maybe having our own parade, and waving sparklers as a stand in for the fireworks. We will miss a few things we traditionally do, but we won’t miss out on being with family and taking the time to reflect on how much we love our country and those who sacrificed so much to make it happen. 

What are you doing this year to celebrate? Please share!


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