You know it’s July 4th here in Washington when it’s 90 degrees and 100% humidity. Gotta love it! My July 4th celebrations typically involve a cook-out with family and friends and a spectacular fireworks display. The big city of Roanoke, VA, where I grew up, let off fireworks at the old Victory Stadium near River’s Edge. The stadium happened to be located directly across from one of Roanoke’s largest hospitals. I used to think the patients had the best view from their hospital rooms and how fun it would be to watch them from inside. Somehow I’m guessing those patients would rather have been watching from my vantage point instead of in a hospital. Sadly the old Victory Stadium is no longer standing but I hear the fireworks live on at River’s Edge. The photo below was taken in 2007 at the last fireworks display before the old stadium was demolished.
I also have fond memories of spending the 4th of July at my grandparents country home in West Virginia. We used to go there on weekends during the summer as it was a short 3 hour drive from Roanoke. There was usually a chicken dinner in the nearby “town” of Rio. Accompanied by a softball game between locals and just good old fashioned food, fun and fellowship. The night would end back at the house with sparklers, firecrackers and rockets that my granddad would launch off the side yard. There were no lights for miles where they lived so the fireworks really lit up the dark nights in the country.
While living in New York I watched fireworks over the Hudson River. Macy’s lets off fireworks from large floating barges in the river. It’s spectacular! You can see them from almost anywhere in the city.
Since meeting my husband in 2004 I have spent many a July 4th on the steps of the US Capitol watching the Capitol Fourth Concert and Fireworks. It helps to know people in high places! The concert is broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the US Capitol. Performances for this year’s concert will include Neil Diamond, Candice Glover, Scotty McCreery, Darren Criss, Megan Hilty, Jackie Evancho, The Nationals Symphony Orchestra and my personal ALL TIME FAVORITE performer, Barry Manilow!!! YES folks he’s back by popular demand singing some of your favorite Manilow tunes!!!! Can you feel my excitement? I will be singing along, much to the dismay of the people around me, and will probably be the only person under the age of 60 that knows the words.
I will be spending this July 4th with good friends enjoying some burgers and watching the concert from the steps of the US Capitol. As I sit in comfort and enjoy the freedom which this great country provides me I will remember the reason for which this holiday exists. To celebrate the proclamation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence that took place on July 4, 1776. Here is an excerpt from the preamble:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness”
Fun History Fact: Every year on July 4th the Declaration of Independence is read from the balcony of the Old State House in Boston. Here is a photo from our recent trip to Boston standing right under the balcony.
Happy Fourth of July and may God Bless America!