Sunday, July 05, 2009

A Fourth of July Travel Tour of Bonfires and Illuminations

How was your 4th of July? I'm sure you regularly attend some sort of patriotic service on the 4th of July. I do, too. This time, though, I celebrated with my family in a different way. While traveling home from Canada, it was gratifying to make it back to the American homeland in time for a plethora of fireworks shows in the night sky to light our road home. The united devotions along our path reminded me of the "bonfires and illuminations" of which John Adams prophesied 233 years ago. Our fireworks celebrations still show that, although America may be a bit tattered and torn of late, her genius lives on.

Share/Save/Bookmark
Not long after we dropped through the Canadian border at

Last night, as we drove down Highway 93, a panoramic pattern of American devotion unfolded before our eyes. No matter in which which nook or cranny of the country you find yourself, it's easy to observe the love of liberty that is the common thread among Americans of every stripe.

Roosville on Highway 93, we were treated to a nearly non-stop fireworks display as we wended our way south. From the small to the great, fireworks illuminated our path from Whitefish, Montana all the way to our midnight stopover point in Misoula. Particularly well put together were the fireworks shows at Flathead Lake. Families and friends congregated along the roadways, on the bridges, and in the harbors from miles around to pay tribute to their indomitable country with hot-dog roasting fires and the bombs of fireworks bursting in air.

As we drove along it occurred to me that this must have been exactly what John Adams had envisioned when he prophesied that the coming forth of the Declaration of Independence would be
...celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other...
It's thrilling enough to be anchored in one place as one group of Americans pay their tribute to liberty and the freedom to choose. But last night, as we drove along Highway 93, a panoramic pattern of American devotion unfolded before our eyes. No matter in which which nook or cranny of the country you find yourself, it's easy to observe the love of liberty that is the common thread among Americans of every stripe.

America may at present be an economic tinderbox, but the roots of our heritage planted by our American forbears will eventually provide the nourishment of a renewed flowering of the American landscape with the greatnesses of our past--humility, liberty, and prosperity.

America's government may have gotten fat on playing the imperialistic overlord, but her people

No matter how defiantly the forces of calumny may combine against the greatest country on earth, two hundred and thirty three years of liberty will yet prove an impossible habit to break.

are gradually coming to terms with the understanding that the real essence of American genius can be found only in setting the example of liberty and not in the force of arms.

We may have become confused and lost our way in a morass of soul-destroying government social programs, but the continuing bursts that illuminate our twenty-first century silhouette our lost and distant path just enough that I am confident we can find it once again.

America's image is tattered and torn, for sure. But at least once a year Americans all across the fruited plain remind themselves that America was once--and has the ability once again to be--the beacon of liberty.

"Independence now, and independence forever." Those words were also uttered by John Adams. Despite a foreign policy ironically destructive of freedom, the unfounded fears of man-made global warming, mountains of man-made debt, and the pitting by government of class against class, I am confident that "independence forever" is what we and our posterity will enjoy.

No matter how defiantly the forces of calumny may combine against the greatest country on earth, two hundred and thirty three years of liberty will yet prove an impossible habit to break.


3 comments:

  1. I got a small taste of what you experienced. Our family celebrated in Utah County with a fun display of fireworks from the family and neighbors of a small cul-de-sac. When that was over we got in the car and drove home to Davis county. Along the way we saw dozens of fireworks displays - most of the time we could see at least 3 different displays from any point. We saw people pulling over to the side of the road to watch a display that caught their eye. It was inspiring and I hope, like you, that the fire of liberty is still burning in the hearts of individuals as much as their patriotic displays were burning through the night sky.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My son and some of his friends decided to watch our local town's fireworks while seated atop a recently constructed water tank up the hill. They were amazed to discover that from that vantage point they could see 15 such shows occurring all at the same time around the county.

    Let freedom ring!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hope you're saving these timely tidbits! Glad I stopped in to read. Kind of proud of my offspring!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting. If you have a Google/Blogger account, to be apprised of ongoing comment activity on this article, please click the "Subscribe" link below.