Will you talk about the reason for it all? The fact that on July 4, 1776 the leaders of our Nation signed the Declaration of Independence of America from Great Britain? Still a big deal when you think of recent events and how--when we try to reconcile our differences among our citizenry about matters of importance from suffrage to Obamacare, someone invariably talks of what our forefathers intended when they initiated this remarkable adventure in democracy.
Or do you talk about where you'll see fireworks? I can remember whole summers by recalling where I was on the Fourth of July. The evening of the Fourth , that is, because that's when you see the fireworks. There was the night in the Presidio, parked close to the Golden Gate Bridge, where we watched a fabulous display that somehow eluded the almost- always-present fog. And there were the many July fourths in a small park in my hometown in Wisconsin, where we watched the fireworks display that took place on the Wisconsin River. And a marvelous evening on a boat in Boston Harbor. I think I remember doing that twice. Oh, and the terrific Fourth of July evening on the roof of the building on the Commons in Boston, where my friends have an apartment...and we enjoyed a wonderful evening picnic watching the fireworks "up top." It was as if all those cannons were shot off just for us.
Which reminds me that the Fourth of July is especially important to me because of my sister. Her birthday is July 4. And for years of my early childhood, I somehow figured that all the parade fuss--and the fireworks for sure--were in honor of my sister's birthday. Way more attention than I got on my lousy little end of October birthdate. I was lucky if they linked my party to Halloween, and usually they didn't. So I'm sure some of the costs of therapy I've spent over the years are related to that sneaking suspicion that even though everyone talked a good story about America's independence, it was really all about my sister.
The irony of it is that she's probably sick to death of the red, white and blue theme. She probably yearns for something other than the old firecracker jokes.
But probably not. She still thinks--I'm sure of it--that to a great extent the celebration is still all about her.