I kind of love the Fourth of July.
I do not love the loud firecrackers just yards away, that scare my pets to the point of distraction and make me run through the house to find them before they leave surprises under my bed, which I wrote about here, nor do I love the sweltering heat that manages to engulf my town this time of year.
But I love the Star Spangled Banner. It’s my very favorite song and I cry every single time I hear it. I love the story of how it came to be written and I love the way strangers stand together with their hands over their hearts whenever it is played.
I love the Declaration of Independence, paintings of our Founding Fathers, Old Glory, and every veteran who ever served to protect freedom. Anywhere.
I love a flag raising, a free pancake breakfast like the one my church is serving today, outdoor barbecues and picnics (with pie!), little kids pedaling decorated tricycles, brass bands in a gazebo, and sparkly fireworks blooming against a starry sky. I love seeing elderly people dressed up in all the red-white-and-blue they can find, and wish young people did the same.
And so today I salute every person who came to America for freedom, every descendant of the same, and everyone who stands with us for liberty and justice for all.
Now go sing the Star Spangled Banner, all four verses. Out loud. Be grateful for those who made your life possible. If you live in another country, come visit me and we'll sing it, then join me for a slice of pie.
And take a look-see at my youtube videos here, where you’ll learn all kinds of life skills that will make you enjoy this lucky life of yours even more.