Fireworks on Independence Day A Tradition That Has Lasted for Centuries
that night was clearly grateful to live in this free land that is like no other in the world. The cocktails were good, too!
Independence Day is a time to get together, celebrate the freedom of our country, and remember its founding over 240 years ago.
Americans have been celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks throughout history. Among our Founding Fathers, John Adams wanted to celebrate this special and history-changing creation of our republic with grandeur. In a letter to Abigail Adams, he stated that the occasion “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 forevermore.” One year after the United States gained her independence, John Adams received his wish. On July 4, 1777, Philadelphia set off the first firework display, leading what was soon to be an annual tradition of setting off sizzling sparklers and whistling fireworks in remembrance of the battles fought for liberty and justice for all.
Over the years, I’ve been to a lot of Fourth of July fireworks shows. One of my favorites was from our boat in Port Royal in the early 2000s. Recently, we have been content to go out into our backyard and watch a few fireworks go off on Port Royal and Paris Island from a distance. Thinking back, however, the best Fourth of July I ever had was out on a boat just off the coast of Washington D.C. in 1976: the 200th anniversary of the birth of this great nation. I was visiting a friend of mine who lived in Alexandria, Virginia, and friends of hers invited us to join them aboard their 52-foot sailboat to watch the fireworks display at the Capitol from the Potomac River. What a fabulously colorful, star-spangled display that was! It was more than an enjoyable time; it was patriotic, and we felt the same pride as those in the hundreds of boats around us. Each person there
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