My family and I spent the Fourth of July in Boston last summer. It was truly spectacular. Not only was it exciting to watch the turnaround of the USS Constitution, but electrifying too was the spirit in the air. I was high on the patriotism. Alright, that may sound a little quixotic and on the brink of writing something akin to the Defence of Fort McHenry. Nonetheless, Francis Scott Key had it right, what a feeling to see that flag flying high. What an impressive demonstration to have allegiance pledged even in this day and age throughout our land to our National Ensign. Despite expressions of distress in North Carolina and Wisconsin reported in the news, concerning the claims of right to fly the flag upside down (see Title 36, U.S.C., Chapter 10 as amended by P.L. 344, 94th Congress), I was still filled with patriotism well after celebrating our Independence Day.
To spare you a history lesson, and so as not to bore you with news of upside down flags, I will share with you something I learned on that Fourth of July. I learned that through the eyes of a child there is amazing beauty in something as simple as a flag—something I often take for granted. It is that same something, that in my teen years, I took a rebellious standpoint against one day to say I did not have to pledge to anything to be considered a patriot—something that in later years took an oath before to serve my country. Something that is really more than just some thing, it is the embodiment of a Nation in one iconic symbol to which we can all relate.
The older two, my girls, remarked (all day long) with excitement every time they saw the flag, literally—think girly high pitched squeals of happiness. My oldest proudly recites the Pledge of Allegiance any chance she gets. Perhaps it is their pride in recognizing it and knowing something about, but it still makes me smile.
After a day about the city, we trekked down to the Esplanade to watch the famous evening performance of the Boston Pops and enjoy the fireworks illuminate sky. Of course, because everyone on the planet had the same idea as us, and we stayed in other parts of the city touring too long, we did not get that close to the Hatch Shell. Rather, we found a tiny square with thousands of our closest friends, errrr, um, strangers, abutting us on the banks of the Charles River. It did not matter though, it was all worth it. The show was breathtaking, best fireworks I had ever seen; beautiful music that had the crowd singing and smiling. I have not had that much fun on the Fourth of July for as long as I can remember. It was truly a memorable night.
After the long day and terrific evening, we walked all the way from our tiny spot on the Charles to the USCG base in the North End of Boston—both my husband and I each pushing a stroller and he also carrying one of the kids on his back in our Kelty carrier. We had such a great time, and the kids are still talking about it weeks later. It is days like that when realize how much I love Boston and our country, and more importantly, spending time with my family.