The Fourth of July, fourth is capitalized because it is the name of the day... Oh wait no, It's Independence Day. Oh man, formal names... too much formality for one post.
What was the first 4th you remember? I know you can think back a little and remember playing with sparklers when you were young, but that is not what I am really talking about. When I say "4th of July" an image pops into your head, what is it? What makes it great? What makes it stick so hard to the word that it pops up in your minds eye when you hear it mentioned?
For me, it is the 4th of July in 2002, the one right after 9/11.
I was over at a friends house for the festivities, and in that regard it was normal. Foods grilled up, drinks at the ready, and clouds begging to be shot. As the sun went down it started like an orchestra. Light explosions in the distance, slowly growing louder. Before the sun even set the mortars were going off, illuminating the sky... which is normal for mortars, and went double because of the thick cloud cover reflected the light (more bang for your buck I suppose).
On this 4th, in 2002, the orchestra did not stop growing louder. The night went on, and the fire never ceased, as if the eve was Americas new foe, and we as a nation could slay him. Explosions echoed, those too strengthened by clouds. Flashes off in the distance, crackles, firecrackers, thunderous booms of even larger explosives. That night we made America into a warzone, and we fought our foe with patriotism the likes of which I have yet to see again.
It was July 4th 2002;
That eve the sun never set.