This year is my first year in what a local friend calls “Free America.” As in “Welcome to Free America.”
My heart will always be in Colorado, but over the years, the fireworks have gotten smaller and smaller, and any excuse will do to cancel them.
Just about the best shows were in Manitou Springs, where the fire department would go door to door for donations, and buy fireworks depending on how much they got. When one of our friends gave them a lot of money, the show went on FOREVER.
Our house had a balcony facing the mountain, and all our friends gathered there for the fourth. When the show was over, we’d start singing the Star Spangled Banner. Sometimes the firemen yelled back “You can’t sing.” Which to be fair was true, but we couldn’t sing with LOTS of gusto.
But the last several years have been only “city put on” displays, and kind of blah. A little blah. when they weren’t entirely cancelled.
I did say my friend said “Welcome to Free America?” Right?
It started three days ago. Zip bang bang bang.
Our yard is excessively wooded, so we only see the faintest glimmer through the green, but there’s a lot of glimmers, all over. Like…. inextinguishable freedom. Here and there, a glimmer in the trees.
We sat out on the back porch for about an hour. Bang bang ban. Shimmer shimmer shimmer. For about a glorious half hour our neighbor across the street put on the best display I’ve seen in a long time. (This is not to put down our neighbors last year, who had kids running around, singing and setting off sparklers, while carrying the flag and waving it. I mean, they were marines. But there wasn’t a firework display.)
And I told my husband “I’ve never seen anyone in any other country do this for their country’s day. Not… regular people, on the street, putting off firepworks displays and waving the flag, and being enthusiastic.”
To be fair, although the rest of the west is catching up, there are also few other country governments who have such undisguised disdain and hatred for their own land.
So, here we are. Our government might want to destroy the country. (And be making great inroads.)
But America, the real America, the America of the American people is not destroyed or under siege. America, the real America remembers what we are and for what we are.
And we light up the nights with fireworks, and make freedom ring loudly.
We’re not done. They can’t take us out, and they can’t succeed. We can, but we’re going to have to endure the crazy stuff they throw at us, first.
In the end, though, we win, they lose.
And in the meanwhile, we can make the bombs burst in air, and show them that, yes, our flag is still there.
This year, as every year, thank you guys for allowing me to join this singular nation, this self-chosen people, the oddities, the freedom lovers, the unexpected ones.
Thank you for allowing me to join the Freedom-lovers gang.
And now I’m going to celebrate.