241 years ago today...
Betsy Ross, a Quaker and the eighth of seventeen children, designed it with the stripes representing the original thirteen states and the stars representing all the states in the Union. These facts I remembered, but had forgotten what the Red, White and Blue represent. (Please tell me I'm not the only one!)
WHITE - PURITY
BLUE - LOYALTY
Civil War collection
Now, onto Best 4th of July Fireworks ever, in reverse order:
** 2013, Boston, Massachusetts. The most poignant firework display because of the history of the city. Fireworks flaring over Boston Harbor is a sight to behold.
**1994, Cedar Key, Florida. This town is on the Gulf of Mexico side of the state. The fireworks are shot off over the water. Spectators sat on the beach in folding chairs or on the tailgate of a pickup truck. The fire department did the honors on a stretch of beach not far from spectators. It was the first time I'd actually seen how fireworks are launched. Pretty exciting!
**1991, Gainesville, Florida, University of Florida campus. It wasn't necessary to be anywhere near the campus to see the fireworks display that was set off from there. My kids and I sat on the roof of the car by the campus tennis courts, at the opposite end of where festivities were happening. Best seats in the house.
**1986, Denver, Colorado. The parents of my cousin’s husband lived in a two-story home situated high enough for us to see multiple firework displays in some of the smaller townships encircling Denver. Watching from the second story outside deck it was as though we were maestros standing on the world's tallest dais. I remember thinking I'd like to see the sight from the air. Such a gorgeous sight. (I also thought about what aliens piloting across the country in their UFOs on this particular night must think about the bursts of colors everywhere they looked. Really. I did think this.)
Like you, I've seen dozens and dozens of fireworks displays for other occasions besides celebrating our Independence Day. They're all beautiful, but there's something about watching them on this day that feels more special to me. All the colors, noise, spirals, circles and sparkles are a visual celebration of patriotism. Makes me smile, smile, smile.