This year’s fireworks celebration took us to our local S FL beach. We navigated the crowd and staked out our beach front position, as close to the launch point as allowed, literally up against the waist high fence. The skies darkened and finally the 10-minute warning was given. I set up my tripod as my wife sat comfortably next to me in the sand. Over and over, simple streaks of rocket propelled light climbed high in the dark sky, paused for a weightless second and then exploded with a colorful brilliance. The crowd gasped and cheered as if on cue. Looking up the beach, we could see miniature versions of other displays that filled the frame. Even though we could not hear them, I still felt a connection knowing we were all celebrating the birth of our great nation together!
The 4th of July is one of my favorite celebrations of the year and this year was no exception! It is the time when our entire nation puts aside their individual differences and commemorates how a handful of patriots courageously rallied a nation into freedom. For their vision, determination and sacrifice, we will be eternally grateful.
Through my travels I have seen first hand how America is a quite unique country. Our founding principles were first discussed and refined quietly in individual homes. As the ideas of our new nation gained traction, brave individuals met in larger groups and even stood on street corners proclaiming their vision. Despite resistance, they continued with their beliefs until there was an unstoppable thirst to be free that rippled across the land. Despite individual disagreements, it was a time when patriotism and national pride won out in the discussion. This freedom was neither easy nor cheap. Many lost their homes, their families, their lands and even their lives. With each loss, their determination to become a united, new nation grew stronger. The vision of a giant melting pot, open to all who wished more to be American and her future rather than the lands and ideas of their past, was born.
We just marked the 239th birthday of our great nation. As with all celebrations, we look back on the fun, family and friends. Memories of tasty burgers on the grill and the incredible fireworks high overhead are the talk around the office today. As those joyous memories pass, let us keep in our forefront the freedoms of this land and the sacrifices brave patriots made, not just for themselves, but for us, their future. Let us remember that we are far stronger united, than when we are divided. Let us remember how we are to be “one nation, under God.” Let us remember, appreciate and respect what it means to be American!
Photo Stuff: Single frame, processed in LR and Topaz Clarity
Chip Bunnell Photography
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