Without a doubt, the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. My fondness for the USA’s birthday started as a kid. I grew up in a town that spends all year gearing up for the infamous 4th of July parade. People arrive 24 hours ahead of go-time to set out their lawn chairs and blankets, staking claim to the perfect spot (which is the same spot they’ve graced for years, of course). They return in the morning proudly waving flags, pulling fully stocked coolers and reconnecting with old friends and neighbors. From the time I was seven until the time I was…well, much older, I was either proudly walking in the parade or standing on the sidelines cheering for—and chatting with—friends.
Now that I have my own family, we’ve started creating new traditions. We live in a tight-knit neighborhood that’s always up for a parade, and the 4th is no exception. We all meet for donuts, the kids decorate their bikes, then the local police escort everybody in a circle around the ‘hood. The party continues throughout the day with drinks, BBQs, water play and fun with friends. It’s good, old-fashioned American fun.
And that’s what I love about the 4th. It’s a holiday that truly represents the best that our country stands for. It’s a celebration of community and a reminder that everybody—local sports teams, small-business owners, dedicated law enforcement officers—deserves to be celebrated with a hero’s applause now and then. It’s simple, tasty food that allows you time to truly enjoy the company of friends. It’s great weather that allows for sun-up-to-sun-down fun. It’s pride-filled music, heart-warming laughter and awe-inspiring fireworks.
It was most definitely a wonderful holiday weekend for my family and me. And I hope it was for yours as well.
Looking back on the good times, I can’t help but say—honestly and with humility—God bless America.