Fourth of July Americana Without a Fifth of Jackboot Alchemy

Empty the bottled witches’ brews – the potent eye-of-newt-baboon-blood admixture of COVID scientism and the wool-of-bat-tongue-of-dog-nihilism-cultured Marxism – down the toilet. Turn off the media cauldron . . .

~~~~~

There. Now, pour yourself a tall cool glass of Simply Lemonade. Cut yourself a piece of apple pie. Kick back and enjoy some Americana. Reanimate your imagination.

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. – Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens, using the pen name Mark Twain, gave America two major classics of American literature: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The lives and values of people living in the American South during the middle of the nineteenth century are conveyed through Twain’s choice of imagery, vernacular, relaxed diction and characters. Twain’s small-town realism: what is seen through the eyes and imaginations of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

A Stamp printed in USA shows the painting “Tom Sawyer”, by Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), American Folklore Issue, circa 1972

If you were ever a kid, and I suspect that most of you have been so inclined, you will connect with the antics of Tom Sawyer. You’ll relate to Tom’s larger-than-life imaginings and his dashed realizations. Like Tom, you may have acquired experienced-based knowledge and also consequences with each twist and turn of an adventure.

You’ll remember being bored during summer vacation and being both bored and lonely during a bout of the measles. And you’ll recollect more, as you listen to and read . . .

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Chapter 22

TOM joined the new order of Cadets of Temperance, being attracted by the showy character of their “regalia.” He promised to abstain from smoking, chewing, and profanity as long as he remained a member. Now he found out a new thing—namely, that to promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing. Tom soon found himself tormented with a desire to drink and swear; the desire grew to be so intense that nothing but the hope of a chance to display himself in his red sash kept him from withdrawing from the order. Fourth of July was coming; but he soon gave that up —gave it up before he had worn his shackles over forty–eight hours—and fixed his hopes upon old Judge Frazer, justice of the peace, who was apparently on his deathbed and would have a big public funeral, since he was so high an official. During three days Tom was deeply concerned about the Judge’s condition and hungry for news of it. Sometimes his hopes ran high—so high that he would venture to get out his regalia and practise before the looking–glass. But the Judge had a most discouraging way of fluctuating. At last he was pronounced upon the mend—and then convalescent. Tom was disgusted; and felt a sense of injury, too. He handed in his resignation at once—and that night the Judge suffered a relapse and died. Tom resolved that he would never trust a man like that again.

The funeral was a fine thing. The Cadets paraded in a style calculated to kill the late member with envy. Tom was a free boy again, however —there was something in that. He could drink and swear, now—but found to his surprise that he did not want to. The simple fact that he could, took the desire away, and the charm of it.

Tom presently wondered to find that his coveted vacation was beginning to hang a little heavily on his hands.

He attempted a diary—but nothing happened during three days, and so he abandoned it.

The first of all the negro minstrel shows came to town, and made a sensation. Tom and Joe Harper got up a band of performers and were happy for two days.

Even the Glorious Fourth was in some sense a failure, for it rained hard, there was no procession in consequence, and the greatest man in the world (as Tom supposed), Mr. Benton, an actual United States Senator, proved an overwhelming disappointment—for he was not twenty–five feet high, nor even anywhere in the neighborhood of it.

A circus came. The boys played circus for three days afterward in tents made of rag carpeting—admission, three pins for boys, two for girls—and then circusing was abandoned.

A phrenologist and a mesmerizer came—and went again and left the village duller and drearier than ever.

There were some boys–and–girls’ parties, but they were so few and so delightful that they only made the aching voids between ache the harder.

Becky Thatcher was gone to her Constantinople home to stay with her parents during vacation—so there was no bright side to life anywhere.

The dreadful secret of the murder was a chronic misery. It was a very cancer for permanency and pain.

Then came the measles.

During two long weeks Tom lay a prisoner, dead to the world and its happenings. He was very ill, he was interested in nothing. When he got upon his feet at last and moved feebly down–town, a melancholy change had come over everything and every creature. There had been a “revival,” and everybody had “got religion,” not only the adults, but even the boys and girls. Tom went about, hoping against hope for the sight of one blessed sinful face, but disappointment crossed him everywhere. He found Joe Harper studying a Testament, and turned sadly away from the depressing spectacle. He sought Ben Rogers, and found him visiting the poor with a basket of tracts. He hunted up Jim Hollis, who called his attention to the precious blessing of his late measles as a warning. Every boy he encountered added another ton to his depression; and when, in desperation, he flew for refuge at last to the bosom of Huckleberry Finn and was received with a Scriptural quotation, his heart broke and he crept home and to bed realizing that he alone of all the town was lost, forever and forever.

And that night there came on a terrific storm, with driving rain, awful claps of thunder and blinding sheets of lightning. He covered his head with the bedclothes and waited in a horror of suspense for his doom; for he had not the shadow of a doubt that all this hubbub was about him. He believed he had taxed the forbearance of the powers above to the extremity of endurance and that this was the result. It might have seemed to him a waste of pomp and ammunition to kill a bug with a battery of artillery, but there seemed nothing incongruous about the getting up such an expensive thunderstorm as this to knock the turf from under an insect like himself.

By and by the tempest spent itself and died without accomplishing its object. The boy’s first impulse was to be grateful, and reform. His second was to wait—for there might not be any more storms.

The next day the doctors were back; Tom had relapsed. The three weeks he spent on his back this time seemed an entire age. When he got abroad at last he was hardly grateful that he had been spared, remembering how lonely was his estate, how companionless and forlorn he was. He drifted listlessly down the street and found Jim Hollis acting as judge in a juvenile court that was trying a cat for murder, in the presence of her victim, a bird. He found Joe Harper and Huck Finn up an alley eating a stolen melon. Poor lads! they—like Tom—had suffered a relapse.

  • Source: Twain, M. (1876). The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Hartford, CT: American Publishing Co.

Chapter 22 | The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Mark Twain | Lit2Go ETC (usf.edu)

*****

America has been undergoing a hostile takeover by the Wicked WOKE. Since the ‘60s this red army has infiltrated our education systems. From elementary through graduate school, it has promoted an infighting America. Using Marxism’s class warfare, identity politics and now Critical Race Theory, one is taught to hate America, hate Capitalism and even your own white skin color. What is the Wicked Woke’s motivation?

 . . . if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. Mk. 3:25

The military is being subjected to Marxism and CRT. To get first-hand insight, read Lt. Colonel Matthew Lohmeier’s book Irresistible Revolution; Marxism’s goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military. Lt. Colonel Lohmeier was sacked from his command following this book. This man has courage that many in leadership lack!

Businesses are now submitting to cultural Marxism. The over a century old engineering company I work for is now celebrating the division of the company into identity groups via the tokenism of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives (DEI). Apparently, the adult owners and managers are being led by the nose by the new recruits once matriculated in indoctrination classes.

American history is tortured into saying America is a racist country (vide anti-American Communist sympathizer Hannah Jones’ 1619 Project).

People are waterboarded by the media into feelings of panic and terror with a constant deluge of “pandemic” counts, deaths and variants, mask wearing mandates, lockdown mandates, vaccination as salvation, a Jan. 6th narrative, racism behind every bush, and an impending climate change apocalypse.

Just the other day the Biden regime’s Energy Sect. Jennifer Granholm was on CNN. When asked a leading question, Granholm suggested that the building in Florida may have collapsed because of climate change. Why instill fear in people? Why provoke anyone to think that their building may collapse at any moment due to climate change? Why? Fear is used for political ends.

Through relabeling and redefinition of terms, the NSA and FBI pronounce white Americans who love their country “White supremacists”. This now ‘allows’ them to spy on American citizens with impunity.

We will soon be made to lease our homes. The global elites (Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway Real Estate included?) are buying up housing and real estate. You will be forced to rent and accept their lease terms, including their progressive Marxist agenda. Private property will be taken away.

The Biden regime and Democrats in Congress aim to spend enormous amounts of taxpayer money. In doing so, our country will be headed for financial ruin – hyperinflation, market collapse and the dollar will lose its standing as the global reserve currency. Our children, grandchildren and their children will suffer great hardship because of their out-of-control spending.

Our constitutional republic is being destroyed by those who cry “Our Democracy is under attack!” while increasing their censorship of what Americans can and cannot say.

When the Biden regime took over the White House in Jan. of 2021, our constitutional republic was subjected to malicious attacks. One of the puppet dictator’s first acts was to abolish what he called the ‘offensive’ 1776 Commission. He also restarted the racial sensitivity reprogramming of American citizens.

Below is a copy of what the Biden regime abolished and what militant ideologues continue to pillory as being “lies” and “propaganda”.

Turn off the media cauldron. Download and read the 1776 Report to your family.

From the 1776 Report Conclusion:

Identity politics is fundamentally incompatible with the principle of equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.

Of note, Dr. Carol M. Swain was the Vice chair of the President’s 1776 Commission. You will want to go to her website to watch the video From GED to PH.D: the Carol Swain Story. (I doubt that she is “black enough” per the racist standard set by Joe Biden and the rest of the race hustlers.)

Here is a website to promote American History: 1776 Project Pac.

“What to the slave is the Fourth of July?’ This Frederick Douglass quote is from his oration on July 5th, 1852 – 76 years after the founding of the country.

*****

Unlike President Wilson (see “The Meaning of Liberty”) who progressively sought to bring the Declaration up to date, President Coolidge affirms the enduring veracity of human equality, inalienable rights, and the consent of the governed—“those old theories and principles which time and the unerring logic of events have demonstrated to be sound.” 

Calvin Coolidge’s Speech on the Occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence

*****

Welcome to all of the countries accessing my blog:

By Dawn’s Early Light…

Our Banner by Frederich Edwin Church

Our Banner by Frederich Edwin Church

 

 

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light…

The seismic change in constitutional order taking place in the world…

That the U.S. (and Britain) is changing from an industrial nation-state to a market state…

That the growth of the informational market state is due to

-a global system of communications,

-international trade and finance,

-international human rights laws,

-Borderless threats like AIDS and SARS and now Zika, of Islamic terrorism and even the intimidation of the non-existential threat of climate change by flat earth “settled science” Inquisitors,

-Existential threats posed by weapons of mass destruction easily obtained in the world market (see Obama’s Iran Policy)

That the decentralized market state appeals to individualism and local governance as opposed to centralized representative government and at the same time requires an allegiance to multiculturalism, UNism and One World ism to establish trade…

A growing disdain and rejection of the Ruling Class – the “Experts” – governance (see Brexit) …

That the current presumed nominees for POTUS are both unworthy of a vote…

That nation-states, whether the U.S. or in Europe cannot return to the past when exiting the present…

That the American Dream, fostered by hard work, thrift and hope for a prosperous future, will be now redefined by the Information Economy of the market state, requiring individuals to adapt or wither away…

That continuing income inequality in the world is due to one’s geography, to one’s resistance to the market state, to overbearing government regulations (see the EU) and, primarily, the nation-state’s mismanagement of its currency…

That middle class Americans cannot save because the FED has kept interest rates near zero, thereby blessing investors and the stock market with growing income gains, creating further income inequality.

That the human capacity to invent and innovate and thrive will never be diminished but will only be rechanneled from out under odious nation-state regulations into market state space.

That though Keynesian economists see aggregate demand as the motivator of the economy and therefore in need of stimulation (even though their premise is an unacknowledged tribute to envy and its propensity for the inflation of greed), human flourishing is, by nature, enterprising innovation coupled with drive and determination and, finally, consumption to stay alive and fight another day.

That Keynesian economists strong-arm with their economic policies when they bind human hands with government debt and the taxation they require to overcome their mistakes (a minimum wage is a form of sales tax meant to fix an unyielding Keynesian economy).

That a nation-state’s monetary policy has the ability to determine incentives and growth – human flourishing…

That social justice means coercive, as opposed to voluntary and Christ-like, redistribution of your personal property (including your identity) to create an “equal” ability to consume relevant to a populist index of envy…

That the jack boots from Long March of Cultural Marxism have crushed values underfoot…

That college professors raise the banners of Marxism, of communitarianism, of moral relativism in their class room and in their cocktail table books…

That anthropocentricity is all the rage; God is sidelined by the need for “diversity” …

That the perennial Epicurean desire for sensate pleasure and security from judgement and from a knowing conscience is the basis of currently renamed hedonism: “Progressivism.”  Progressivism gives license only to unbridled sexual desire and to nothing else. Oh, and to this…

That the “right” to abort a human being (who is not “human” until anthropocentricism deems him or her so) is now held as inalienable while the right to protect yourself is assailed with every new gun law…

That the Kingdom of God is very much in place…

That the number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America…

That the numbers of persecutions and martyrdoms of Christ followers will grow exponentially…

That a Christian’s allegiance is to the Kingdom of God no matter what state, nation or market, free or slave, he or she find themselves in? (I am fixed to the Rock of my Salvation.)

 

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light…

That Rider on a white horse?  Marantha.

 

 

 

The Patriots

Father and son, Cantigny Park, Fourth of July

Father and son, Cantigny Park, Fourth of July

Turn, Come Round Right America

 

…Simple Gifts

 

 

Fourth of July at Cantigny Park – 2014

Cantigny Entrance 7-4-2014

 

Fourth of July at Cantigny Park has become an annual event for me. You will see why.

 Cantigny Park is the setting for Col. Robert R. McCormick Museum (the Colonel’s former residence), the First Division Museum of military history and 30 acres of gardens.

 Regarding Col. Robert R. McCormick’s military career, Wikipedia says:

Returning to the United States in 1915, he joined the Illinois National Guard on June 21, 1916, and, being an expert horseman, became a major in its 1st Cavalry Regiment. Two days earlier, President Woodrow Wilson had called the Illinois National Guard into Federal Service, along with those of several other states, to patrol the Mexican border during General John J. Pershing’s Punitive Expedition McCormick accompanied his regiment to the Mexican border.

Soon after the United States entered the war, McCormick again became part of the U.S. Army on June 13, 1917, when the entire Illinois National Guard was mobilized for Federal service in Europe. He was sent to France as an intelligence officer on the staff of General Pershing. Seeking more active service, he was assigned to an artillery school. By June 17, 1918, McCormick became a lieutenant colonel, and by September 5, 1918 had become a full colonel in the field artillery, in which capacities he saw action. He took part in the capture of Cantigny, after which he named his farm estate in Wheaton Illinois, and in the battles of Soissons Saint-Mihiel, and the second phase of the Argonne. He served in the 1st Battery, 5th field Artillery Regiment, with the 1st Infantry Division. His service ended on December 31, 1918, though he remained a part of the Officers Reserve Corps from October 8, 1919 to September 30, 1929. Cited for prompt action in battle, he received the Distinguished Service Medal. Thereafter, he was always referred to as “Colonel McCormick.”

Crusading publisher

McCormick returned from the war and took control of the Tribune in the 1920s. Given the lack of schools of journalism in the Midwestern United States at the time, McCormick and Patterson sponsored a school named for their grandfather, the Joseph Medill School of Journalism. It was announced by Walter Dill Scott in November 1920, and began classes in 1921.

As publisher of the Tribune, McCormick was involved in a number of legal disputes regarding freedom of the press that were handled by McCormick’s longtime lawyer Weymouth Kirkland. The most famous of these cases is Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931), a case championed by McCormick in his role as chairman of the American Newspaper Publisher Association’s Committee on Free Speech.

Tribune Tower Chicago

A conservative Republican, McCormick was an opponent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and compared the New Deal to Communism. For a period in 1935, he protested Rhode Island’s Democratic Judiciary by displaying a 47 star flag outside the tribune Building, with the 13th star (representing Rhode Island) removed; he relented after he was advised that alteration of the American flag was unlawful. He was also an America First isolationist who strongly opposed entering World War II to rescue the British Empire. As a publisher he was very innovative. McCormick was a 25 percent owner of the Tribune’s 50,000 watt radio station, which was purchased in 1924; he named it WGN, the initials of the Tribune’s modest motto, the “World’s Greatest Newspaper”.…

McCormick carried on crusades against gangsters and racketeers, prohibition and prohibitionists, local, state, and national politicians, Wall Street, the East and Easterners, Democrats, the New Deal and the Fair deal, liberal Republicans, the League of Nations, the World Court, the United Nations, British imperialism, socialism, and communism. …

The New York Times said:

He did consider himself an aristocrat, and his imposing stature6 feet 4 inches tall, with a muscular body weighing over 200 pounds, his erect soldierly bearing, his reserved manner and his distinguished appearance—made it easy for him to play that role. But if he was one, he was an aristocrat, according to his friends, in the best sense of the word, despising the idle rich and having no use for parasites, dilettantes or mere pleasure-seekers, whose company, clubs and amusements he avoided. With an extraordinary capacity for hard work, he often put in seven long days a week at his job even when elderly, keeping fit through polo and later horseback riding. In his seventies, he could still get into the war uniform of his thirties. (emphasis mine)

 

Maybe now you can see why I would visit Cantigny every July Fourth. We need men like Col. McCormick today.

Long before the (Harry-Reid-demonized) philanthropic Koch Brothers, Col. McCormick’s Foundation has contributed more than a billion U.S. Dollars for journalism, early childhood education, civic health, social and economic services, arts and culture and citizenship.

Now, some of the photos I shot on July 4th, 2014 at Cantigny Park, starting with the McCormick mansion:

 McComick Mansion 7-4-2014

reflection pool McCormick mansion 7-4-2014

above, a reflection pool facing south of the mansion; below, a pool facing east of the mansion

Reflection pool facing east

The mansion’s South entrance, below:

south entrance McCormick Mansion

gardens, guns and gallantry:

Idea garden 1

garden path Cantigny

arbor Cantigny

pond Cantigny

La Fleur Cantigny

flowers Cantigny

Illinois in living color:

Illinois in living color

 A day at Cantigny with dog tags, wild turkeys, cannons, Chevys and all:

dog tags, program

wild turkey

water lily

Foutains in the Rose Garden facing the Idea Garden

fountains facing idea Garden

garden path

tank

tank

military museum

her boy - military museum

 

The wilting photog on a hot 4th:

the photographer

cannon fire

Chevy

There too many pics to download for this post.  Here are pics from last year:

July 4th, 2013 – Cantigny Park

 

 

The Fourth Of July

The star-spangled sky is having a birthday party, after hours.

Batteries of anxious fireworks try hard to contain themselves while hiding in the bushes. Aluminum chairs, stiff legs unfolded, carefully situate themselves to view the cyclorama of America’s unfolding Birthday, any moment now…

Into the height of twilight, a single whistling flare finds its way up to center stage – KA-BOOM! The crowd whoops, rattled babies cry and children run to huddle on blankets at parent’s feet.
Swoosh-swoosh-swoosh, a hunting, hinting sizzling goes upward and then another and another. Silence is paused mid-air. A cork popping whisper and then KA-BOOM! KA-BOOM! KA-BA-BOOM! Elemental colors burst above the crowd: Reverberation Red, Winter White, Brilliant Blue, Gushing Green, Poised Purple, Sparkling Silver, Yackety Yellow, Gracious Gold, Outspoken Orange.
Garden Roman candles shoot stars, spinners and colored peonies, Summer Heat fountains erupt into splashing fiber optic light. Whistlers – Sky Highs, Whistler Chasers, Scream Dreamers, screech through the sky. Cannonade artillery shells and mortars, bombastic breath takers, shock the air waves. Atomic Thunder Lords pummel the ears of men and women, boys and girls, the young and old, black or white, echoing its thunderous proclamation: “Attention: Liberty and Justice for all.”
Ashes rain down. Apparitions, Spirits of the American Revolution, waft through clouds of sulfur smoke and then disappear until next year.
Heaven’s gazers are photographed. The popping flash bulb sky captures moments of wide-eyed wonderment.
The birthday party continues on the ground. Sparklers arcing on sticks, splash light onto the faces of slack-jawed kids. Smoke bombs fume, the fog making conversation sputter. Snakes coil out of their black dot cages. Bottle rockets shoot straight up defying gravity, fizzling seconds later. Cherry bombs and M-150s snap like bull whips everywhere.
Earlier today, there has been preparation for the birthday party. Parades canopied streets. Marching bands with bugle and drum marched in 1-2-3-4 cadence. Drums called “Rat-A Tat-Tat, Rat-A Tat-Tat” and fifes whistled Yankee Doodle and slow scotch. The Stars and Stripes marched to Sousa while Uncle Sam walking on stilts made children’s fingers and toes point.
Vets sworn to protect now present the Colors: Red, White & Blue. With alacrity caps are removed. Grandparents, Liberty’s Old Guard, stretch out tired legs from lawn chairs. They stand as the High Flyin’ Grand Old Flag passes by, liberty recognized in the woven tri-color fabric.
Pies, apple and blueberry, were swallowed ala mode. Picnics popped up in city parks. Lemonade soured some looks, smacked some lips, returned youth to some in a swallow. Potato sack races tripped up with laughter. Horseshoes were flung at neighbors. Old Glory was displayed on porches and draped on banisters, her stripes and stars unfurled for anyone who will look her way. Families gave way to each other for an afternoon.
We say, “America, you are beautiful, from sea to shining sea beautiful.” Every year we see your birthday smile, your youthful ear-to-ear grin revealing your dazzling braces. We also see the wear and tear on vets standing with tattered flags, wanting to pass the torch to a deserving generation.
America, each year we return to celebrate the beauty of your unbridled hope and your pragmatic ways. Tonight, especially, the dreams of many Americans will reignite and shoot skyward adding more dazzling light to the already blazing torch of Liberty:

America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.” Ronald Reagan

© Sally Paradise, 2011, All Rights Reserved

Our Banner painted by Frederich Edwin Church

July 4th, 2013 – Cantigny Park

Photos taken today (comments later), Cantigny Park:

7-4-2013 Cantigny -1 hot dog

7-4-2013 Cantigny - 2 cannon

7-4-2013 Cantigny - 3 cannon

7-4-2013 Cantigny - 4 cannon

7-4-2013 Cantigny MILITARY 1

7-4-2013 Cantigny MILITARY 2

7-4-2013 Cantigny MILITARY 3

7-4-2013 Cantigny freedom expresss

7-4-2013 Cantigny COMMITMENT 1

7-4-2013 Cantigny COMMITMENT 2

7-4-2013 Cantigny G1

7-4-2013 Cantigny G2

7-4-2013 Cantigny G4

7-4-2013 Cantigny G5

7-4-2013 Cantigny G6

7-4-2013 Cantigny G8

7-4-2013 Cantigny G9

7-4-2013 Cantigny G12

7-4-2013 Cantigny G13

7-4-2013 Cantigny mural 1

7-4-2013 Cantigny mural 2

7-4-2013 Cantigny G157-4-2013 Cantigny WFMs7-4-2013 Cantigny REST

The Fourth of July

The star-spangled sky is having a birthday party, after hours. Batteries of anxious fireworks try hard to contain themselves while hiding in the bushes. Aluminum chairs, stiff legs unfolded, carefully situate themselves to view the cyclorama of America’s unfolding Birthday, any moment now…

Into the height of twilight, a single whistling flare finds its way up to center stage – KA-BOOM! The crowd whoops, rattled babies cry and children run to huddle on blankets at parent’s feet.
Swoosh-swoosh-swoosh, a hunting, hinting sizzling goes upward and then another and another. Silence is paused mid-air. A cork popping whisper and then KA-BOOM! KA-BOOM! KA-BA-BOOM! Elemental colors burst above the crowd: Reverberation Red, Winter White, Brilliant Blue, Gushing Green, Poised Purple, Sparkling Silver, Yackety Yellow, Gracious Gold, Outspoken Orange.
Garden Roman candles shoot stars, spinners and colored peonies, Summer Heat fountains erupt into splashing fiber optic light. Whistlers – Sky Highs, Whistler Chasers, Scream Dreamers, screech through the sky. Cannonade artillery shells and mortars, bombastic breath takers, shock the air waves. Atomic Thunder Lords pummel the ears of men and women, boys and girls, the young and old, black or white, echoing its thunderous proclamation: “Attention: Liberty and Justice for all.”
Ashes rain down. Apparitions, Spirits of the American Revolution, waft through clouds of sulfur smoke and then disappear until next year.
Heaven’s gazers are photographed. The popping flash bulb sky captures moments of wide-eyed wonderment.
The birthday party continues on the ground. Sparklers arcing on sticks, splash light onto the faces of slack-jawed kids. Smoke bombs fume, the fog making conversation sputter. Snakes coil out of their black dot cages. Bottle rockets shoot straight up defying gravity, fizzling seconds later. Cherry bombs and M-150s snap like bull whips everywhere.
Earlier today, there has been preparation for the birthday party. Parades canopied streets. Marching bands with bugle and drum marched in 1-2-3-4 cadence. Drums called “Rat-A Tat-Tat, Rat-A Tat-Tat” and fifes whistled Yankee Doodle and slow scotch. The Stars and Stripes marched to Sousa while Uncle Sam walking on stilts made children’s fingers and toes point.
Vets sworn to protect now present the Colors: Red, White & Blue. With alacrity caps are removed. Grandparents, Liberty’s Old Guard, stretch out tired legs from lawn chairs. They stand as the High Flyin’ Grand Old Flag passes by, liberty recognized in the woven tri-color fabric.
Pies, apple and blueberry, were swallowed ala mode. Picnics popped up in city parks. Lemonade soured some looks, smacked some lips, returned youth to some in a swallow. Potato sack races tripped up with laughter. Horseshoes were flung at neighbors. Old Glory was displayed on porches and draped on banisters, her stripes and stars unfurled for anyone who will look her way. Families gave way to each other for an afternoon.
We say, “America, you are beautiful, from sea to shining sea beautiful.” Every year we see your birthday smile, your youthful ear-to-ear grin revealing your dazzling braces. We also see the wear and tear on vets standing with tattered flags, wanting to pass the torch to a deserving generation.
America, each year we return to celebrate the beauty of your unbridled hope and your pragmatic ways. Tonight, especially, the dreams of many Americans will reignite and shoot skyward adding more dazzling light to the already blazing torch of Liberty: “America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.” Ronald Reagan
© Sally Paradise, 2011, All Rights Reserved

Our Banner painted by Frederich Edwin Church