Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Independence Day

I often wonder whether or not the Founding Fathers had fireworks to celebrate the first 4th of July after they declared this country free of British rule and an independent country. Probably not. We do celebrate this day of independence from foreign rule and fireworks are the usual visual celebration of that anniversary.

As a child, my parents bought sparklers for us to whirl around as dusk arrived and the sun went down in a fiery blaze on July 4th. It was the preamble to the fireworks that awaited us once the night had fully descended. The excitement was palpable in the air and my brother and sisters and I, and all our neighborhood playmates, were hopping with anticipation. We piled into the car and drove to the prearranged site to pile out, lay down blankets, and set out the drinks and nibbles. The parents sat down and chatted and we children ran around with sparklers whirling like dervishes, spilling sparks onto the ground with a whiff of burning, playing tag, and showing in whirling spirals and loops of short-lived spitting fire our happiness.

And then the show began and more quiet and biddable children you wouldn't find. We stared rapt into the black sky and oohed and aahed while brilliantly colored fires sparkled and danced above our heads, mouths open, and hearts beating wildly to the rhythm of the music and the whump of the rocket launchers that sent the fireworks into the sky to explode into stars that trailed into fire and smoke.

Since this year fire is such a hazard here in Colorado, I offer a video display of Independence Day fireworks over our nation's Capitol. Enjoy. Celebrate. Stare in rapt wonder at what man has devised in celebration.

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