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WHAT WE ARE REALLY CELEBRATING THIS FOURTH OF JULY AllowYourself to Take a Deep Dive Into History!
Because Fourth of July celebrations are typically chock-full of delicious grub fresh off the barbecue, exhilarating water games to stave off the sweltering temperatures, and larger-than- life fireworks lighting up the night sky, people often forget the rich history that led to the fun- filled celebrations we all share today. When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical. But by the middle of the following year, many more colonists had come to favor the colonies’ independence. After eight exhaustive years of bloodshed in the Revolutionary War, America was finally able to claim its independence on September 3, 1783. Two
Fort McHenry, which is situated right outside Baltimore and was the location of the Battle of Baltimore, a sea/ land battle fought between British invaders and American defenders in the War of 1812. The resistance of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during bombardment by the Royal Navy inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the poem “Defense of Fort McHenry,” which later became the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner,” our country’s national anthem.
We finished the trip by participating in a national military park tour where we drove in a car listening to an audio CD, which gave us background information about the area and also pointed out spots where you should stop the car and get out to look around. While Amanda and I are always up for a big adventure, we were surprised to find such cool places so close to our home town. When we travel abroad, one of our favorite parts is reveling in and appreciating the old architecture, but since the U.S. is so young, we don’t have buildings quite that old. But visiting these national military parks was equally as exciting. If you’re looking for some options for great family fun that isn’t too far from home, I highly recommend paying these places a visit. You won’t be disappointed!
Since Amanda and I are early risers, we were there to help the national park rangers raise the flag. You see, every morning, they do a flag change, but it’s not just any old flag; it’s at least 100 feet wide! So, in addition to seeing the actual cabin where Francis Scott Key penned the national anthem, we helped raise the biggest flag either of us had ever seen. In our local adventures, we’ve also made our way to Gettysburg to visit the location of the Battle of Gettysburg. Believed to be the battle that resulted in the most casualties, the Battle of Gettysburg served as a major turning point in the Civil War. During our visit, Amanda and I were able to participate in a kind of historical diorama, an interactive 3-D model that lit up to show us where canons struck on the field when the actual battle took place.
“While Amanda and I are always up for a big adventure, we were surprised to find such cool places so close to our home town.”
hundred and thirty-six years later, we are left with many amazing historical sites all over the U.S. that commemorate some of the most intense of battles in this war, as well as others. While my wife Amanda and I don’t really consider ourselves huge history buffs, we love to go and visit sites rich in U.S. history. For example, nearly two years ago, we ventured to
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