Sunday, July 3, 2016

4th of July - More Than a Holiday its a Family Tradition

Author: Jose G. Barr

The 4th of July is our National Holiday, commemorating our founding fathers signing the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is celebrated with parades, picnics, speeches and fireworks. For me and my family it has always been about spending time together, enjoying a great picnic dinner and then an amazing fireworks show.  My father loved to buy us fireworks and set the night on fire with all the different types available back then.  He even built a switchboard to light the fuses remotely so that we could do it from a safe distance.  I miss my Dad so very much thinking of those far away memories of a more innocent time in my life. I am doing my best to live up to my Dad's love of the celebration and sharing it with my son Joseph.

The year after Joseph was born we attended the Fireworks show at the # National Mall in Washington, DC.  It was hot, crowded and not a very pleasant experience at all.  The fireworks show itself was mediocre at best. Once it was over the nightmare began as we all tried to enter a subway car back home.  Been there, done that and no desire to ever see that show again.

The following year we were looking for something closer to home that would be fun and exciting.  We stumbled upon the Great Meadow Foundations Independance day Celebration at the Great Meadow Ranch #greatmeadow. Little did we know that it would become the seed for our 4th of July family tradition.  We had a spectacular time watching the helicopter parade, model rocket launches, polo matches and several stages of music. The fireworks show was set to music that was piped throughout the viewing area, making it the most spectacular fireworks show we had ever seen.  So started our annual tradition until January of 2012 when I was reassigned to Southern California.

Image result for c 17 globemaster
Boeing C-17 Globemaster
As  the months drew closer to the 4th of July I began to look for something that could fill the void that seemed to be in front of us.  Would Southern California have the same level of show? I kept my fingers crossed as I did internet searches to find the replacement for our families 4th of July celebration.  What I did finally find was the show at the University of Redlands #UofR #UniversityofRedlands. Little did I know that this was to become our fine replacement for our tradition. What the organizers had in store was amazing.  There were skydivers landing in the Stadium, 2 different bands and a low and slow flyover by a United States Air Force C-17 Globemaster plane!  The fireworks show capped off the evening with music.  We had found our new show to celebrate the 4th of July.  We were so very excited to have found it.

This year will mark our 5th year attending the show. We talk about the show and how great it is to anyone that will listen. Good friends of ours will be attending the show with us. We will be bringing our picnic dinner with plenty of watermelon (a summertime staple) my wifes amazing pasta salad and our friends amazing chicken salad sandwiches.  We will have plenty of water and drinks to make it through the night.

As my little buddy grows up I realize that the time we share together as a family is so very precious. I will keep doing everything I can to create great memories that he will draw upon to share with his children long after I am gone, but lets not be too hasty I plan on being around for a good long time.

Until next time my friends, love your kids,
Cherish your family.

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