I’ve been thinking a lot recently about celebrations. Milestones and the traditional ways of marking said milestones have changed in this time of COVID. The “normal” or expected elements of the 4th of July are simply … missing. I don’t miss the traffic and fighting for a place to sit comfortably and watch the fireworks; at the same time, there is a strange connection that is formed when a large crowd of people are focused on the same thing.
As a child, when we lived in Maryland, we drove into Washington, DC several times to watch Red, White & Boom. I have vivid memories of tuning the radio to make sure we could listen to the music sync’d up with the fireworks. I don’t have vivid memories of the traffic there and back, thankfully. As a young adult, when I was in law school, the 4th of July celebrations were over the top in Norfolk, Virginia in light of all the service people and their families who lived there.
Now, as an adult with children during a pandemic, the crowds and the fireworks and other activities have taken on yet another aura of anxiety. We will be celebrating as a family at a safe distance in a quiet corner of Florida that isn’t experiencing a crazy spike.
Even amidst the craziness of the pandemic and all the fear and anxiety and safety measures, we’ve been talking to the boys about the meaning of the 4th of July. Yes, it’s full of music and loud fireworks, etc., but it’s also about a successful rebellion against tyranny and the hope of a fledgling nation trying to do better.
May we all try to do better as we enjoy the freedoms and the benefits of the struggles of those who have gone before us.
Happy Independence Day!! 🙂