Posts Tagged ‘Independence Day’

Washed Out Fireworks

Work interfered with our plans to go to the Home Days Fireworks Sunday. The super derecho storm that slammed the Midwest and Atlantic states caused severe damage in Columbus; I ended up working there that night assisting my company’s efforts to recover their wireless service.

We decided to go to Independence’s fireworks show last night.

All was fine as the Gray-Glos settled on a nice slope of grass waiting for the darkening sky that provides the best backdrop to those booming colorful explosions announcing to the world that we are here, loud and proud with our liberty.

But the darkening sky was not dusk or nightfall itself but another thunderstorm. Nature provided fireworks and the sky opened wide with a downpour. And we citizens scrambled back to the shelter of our cars and trucks.

Show canceled and Indians’ game in rain delay.

And we sat inside my truck waiting, stuck in the lot, waiting for the line of other vehicles to exit.

It soon got stuffy in there because the pouring rain would not let us open the windows enough. So, this guy decided to run the air to defog the windows and suck in fresh air, too. But he (did I ever mention how technically inclined Mr. G is?) didn’t start the engine as to not waste gas or pollute. And this is where Mr. Gray-Glo rises to the fore as one of those dopey sitcom dad/husbands like Ray Barone.

The truck’s battery was drained and rather quickly and the truck would not start.

We were doomed was the consensus of the others trapped inside the truck with me.

This was where traffic and the jam up in the parking lot changed to a blessing from a curse.

The rain slowed from pouring to mere rain and I got my jumper cables from the back trunk of my truck and spotted a minivan at the end of the line stuck in traffic. He wasn’t going anywhere anyways, so I thought I’d ask him the favor of a jump start.

The gentleman obliged.

Jump worked.

Engine started.

Citizens helping other citizens in need.

And we joined our other stuck brethren citizens in the parade of motionless vehicles.

Indians’ game in rain delay (they eventually resumed and won).

Fireworks drenched and postponed until Thursday.

The irony of all this is we were in the midst of a mini-drought causing  many communities to cancel their fireworks shows from fear of starting a brush fire.

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Independence Day 2010

Today we enter our 234th year.

We were born in revolution and continued as revolutionaries. After our revolt and war for independence from Britain we again revolted against ourselves and created the constitutional government we have now.

Within this framework we continue to revolt, reform, and recreate ourselves. Sometimes the revolution goes too far afield from our founding and we push, pull, and counter revolt our way back again.

We should keep that in mind as our current argument plays itself out.

What we are, what we have is larger than any one of us including the current president.

We have faced constitutional questions that seemed too difficult to master. Some proved themselves to be too difficult and resulted in a Civil War to resolve.

Other constitutional “crisis” were averted because of the very nature of our document allowed for such crisis and their resolution. I am thinking about Watergate.

At many points along our time-line are spots where an unanswerable question seems to have been raised and stumped us. But from here, years, decades, and even centuries from those questions, we marvel at how we survived; how it isn’t that big a deal anymore.

Slavery, women’s voting rights, tensions between states and federal, war powers, economic cycles: all these questions are resolved or at least answered satisfactorily enough to move us along. Those still left unresolved are the fodder, the issues, we will raise as we move forward through our various election cycles.

There is a cliché that this election it the most important election ever. We have heard it many times.

In my life, especially my more cognizant adult one, there were quite a few: 1980, 1994, and maybe this one in 2010. At the time of them did we really know or did history show it to be? 2000 was important only after 9/11.

I believe 1980 and 1994 were considered significant while they were happening. 2010 is showing itself that way to us now.

But this year, like previous years, and years not yet unfolded, is just one set piece of the greatest most important years ever: 1776 and 1787. Without them where and who would we be?

Today we argue about the very nature of our liberty and constitution.

Is it any different than when Patrick Henry exclaimed “Give me liberty or give me death”?

There are no new jokes only new comedians.

There aren’t any new arguments only new citizens making them.

Long may we argue.

Happy Independence Day.

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