Sunday, July 21, 2024
From My Front Porch

July 4: A special celebration of the human spirit


Holidays come and go throughout the year, and I do not think I am making an overstatement by saying people look forward to the unique customs and traditions connected with each event. Whether it be hanging a Christmas stocking, hiding eggs at Easter, or serving special foods at Thanksgiving, each one of our traditions reminds us of all the holidays we have experienced in our past and the special people and family we share the holidays with.

Granted, we cannot attempt to equate the significance of religious holidays like Easter and Christmas with Halloween. Two of them have deeply religious significance and the other is a commercial event created for fun, frivolity and consumerism. Yet, each holiday seems to have its own traditions and rituals.

I commonly mark the comings and goings of holidays by my calendar. Anymore it is impossible to judge the change by my surroundings, because the Halloween items are on display at Walmart seemingly before the kids start back to school. Heck, Christmas stuff is up in the stores just about the time you would expect to see the Halloween items. It can be confusing!

This week, we celebrate the Fourth of July and what a special day that is. It is full of cookouts and barbecues, parades, hotdogs, and fireworks. My memories include smoldering ribs, ice cold watermelon, homemade ice cream, and, my favorite: fresh corn on the cob. On July 4, it was tradition to have a roasting ear firmly gripped in my hands with butter delicately rolling down my chin. I will never forget the sensation or the taste. It’s one of my favorite Fourth of July memories.

My memory takes me back to the bicentennial when the USA was 200 years old and what a big celebration that was. Now the USA is getting closer and closer to 250 years old! Uncle Sam and I have both aged these last 50 years. We have seen a lot of change and suffered through some crises and challenges. Through it all, there is something still special about a Fourth of July parade, seeing the flags unfurled, the bunting hanging from the businesses lining the street while the band plays the “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Sometimes, I wonder if people stop and think how our forefathers created a nation out of nothing but wilderness; how they defeated one of the mightiest military forces in the world to win our freedom, and then our brilliant forefathers had the smarts to create a new form of government which had previously never existed. It allowed individuals to be free, while ensuring domestic tranquility and peace. They were sure a smart bunch of guys. I hope we stay grounded and honor their memory while maintaining the sacred trust which has been passed down to us.

Let us not forget a nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good. As a nation, we are only as good as we allow our weakest citizen to suffer and endure. We are a country that has liberty as a statute! Think about that for a moment and give thanks for where you live and who you are. Now, that is worth celebrating.

Thought for the day: “Humanity has won its battle … liberty now has a country.” — The Marquis de Lafayette, French citizen and American Revolutionary War hero.

Until next time ... I will keep ridin’ the storm out.