Flashback Friday: Patriotic Memories

Mocha With Linda hosts a weekly meme called Flashback Friday. She’ll post a question every Thursday, and then Friday we can link our answers up on her site.

The question for this week is about celebrating the Fourth of July as we grew up:

When you were growing up, did your family do anything special to celebrate Independence Day or other patriotic occasions? Did you hang a flag? What about neighborhood or town parades, picnics, neighborhood parties, etc.? Did you attend fireworks displays? Were personal fireworks permitted where you lived and, if so, did your family do them?

We didn’t hang a flag at all, and I can’t remember parades for the Fourth during my childhood. We may have gone a time or two, but it wasn’t a regular thing if we did at all. We probably had cookouts. The only thing I remember for sure is that my dad splurged on fireworks, and he didn’t splurge on much, so it was kind of a big deal. We were allowed to have personal fireworks (which really makes me chafe under the prohibition of them in our city limits now). We never liked the firecrackers that just made noise, but we always got sparklers for the kids, of course, and bottle rockets and the like, and my dad always got one or two really big “pretty” ones to cap the night off with. Fun memories!

Updated to add: We loved getting fireworks when our kids were little: we especially loved ones that were in little tanks that looked like they were shooting each other, or once we got some in the shape of a boat that floated and shot off in a little fountain we had at the time. But at our current location fireworks are not allowed in the city limits, so, as I said, we’ve chafed under that. But my son and daughter-in-law live in the county, outside the city limits! So we enjoyed having fireworks there on New Year’s Ever and plan to again for the Fourth.

I only remember going to one Fourth of July parade, when we moved to GA several years ago and were new to a small town. It was a fun, typical small town parade.

We occasionally go to some of the big fireworks displays held locally. It was kind of a fun thing in that small town we were in in GA and not too big and crowded, but here, I really, really dislike the crowds, traffic, and porta-potties, so I am not that crazy about going. But sometimes we still do as a family thing. Sometimes we’ll stay home and we’ll flip back and fourth through some of the various specials on TV that night.

I’ve always loved this quote by John Adams:

From a letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776, sharing his thoughts about celebrating the Independence Day, with the original spelling:

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

Our country has its problems, but I still firmly believe it is the best country on earth (no offense to readers from other countries — I imagine you feel that way about yours), and that’s worth celebrating.

5 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Patriotic Memories

  1. I enjoyed your flashback. I’ll have to go back and review my history since the letter from John Adams talks about the 2nd of July. Maybe that was when they adopted it and the 4th was when they all signed?

  2. Hi, I enjoyed reading your memories of the fourth. By the way, I live in one of those small GA towns! We love having our own fireworks displays in the country, too, when we can’t make it anywhere to see a regular display!

  3. bottle rockets…so fun!
    little tanks…have never seen these.
    John Adams…solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty (the press tells us it wasn’t religious, hahahaha)
    Bonfires and Illuminations…love it!!

    BEST country on earth, for sure!

  4. You just reminded me of the one and only parade I was in as a child. It was the 4th of July. I had just finished 2nd grade so I must have been 8 years old. I was a Campfire Girl and we marched in uniform — navy blue short skirt, white short sleeved blouse, red neckerchief, white ankle socks and navy blue tennis shoes. The parade route was a mile and a half long and the day was so unseasonably cold that it snowed! My hair was in a pony tail and to keep with the patriotic theme my ears turned red and my lips turned blue!

I love hearing from you. I've had to turn on comment moderation. Comments will appear here after I see and approve them.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.