Totally, wildly, completely off-topic

July 5th, 2004

Today is the day when Americans celebrate their independence from the British Empire – and by extension, their general sense of freedom.

I personally tend to not be the most patriotic, in the sense of being an aphorism-spewing, flag-waving, love it or leave it kind of person, but I am very grateful to be living in the US, if not in agreement with all of my government’s policies and actions. One of the best things about being American is that you *can* call the current President an insult to orangutans everywhere and not get disappeared overnight…so far.

However, I do love celebrating Independence Day with an intense bout of wachting fireworks and being nine years old. Tonight, I walked down the road to watch a local fireworks display from up the street. I could see all the explosions that went high enough to clear the trees, which was about 1/2 of the display. What I saw made me very happy and I stood, by myself, in the street clapping and saying, “oooh” like a kid.

And then the finale began. Most of the fireworks didn’t clear the treeline, so all I saw was a series of flashes and loud booms, and my blood ran cold, because, but for the grace of many gods, I might have been standing there watching Cedar Knolls being blown to hell. It was a very sobering thought…and one that made me really thankful to be where I am, to have what I have. And tonight, my prayers will definitely be with anyone, anywhere, who aren’t watching fireworks when the booms and flashes come.

Happy 4th of July

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