Independence Day

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Independence Day was always a big deal in my family as I was growing up. Not for barbecues and parties, but as a day to consciously remember where our nation came from. Dad would read the Declaration of Independence, and often we’d also watch 1776, which is still one of my favorite movies to this day.

We would, of course, still watch the town’s fireworks display. I recall going to Webster Lake, where they set off the fireworks, only once. Usually we would either go to the church parking lot, which was just down the street from Webster Lake, or we’d walk up the overpass on the bike path less than a block away. In fact, from that vantage point we could sometimes see the fireworks from other neighboring towns.

Ever since joining the army and moving to El Paso, I haven’t been to (or even watched) the 4th of July fireworks display. Most of the time I wasn’t off, so I would only catch a few that I could see from the interstate on the drive in to work. This year, it fell on my scheduled day off, and since I asked, Dylan said we could go to the park to see the fireworks.

With the rain and storms today, there were questions on if the display would be rained out or not, but most of the clouds cleared up and everything was on schedule. We got our little folding chairs and found a spot on the grass by the parking lot. A little after 9pm the fireworks started.

There’s something fun about actually being there when they set off those big fireworks. I love the noise, the feeling of the explosions, the smell of the smoke. I couldn’t stop grinning the entire show, and I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing as much as the small children (though I wasn’t screeching like some of them were!).

I know our little borough of Shippensburg isn’t a huge display, but it was a very nice one. An appropriate celebration of our country’s birthday. Happy Independence Day, friends!

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