Clouds of sulfer drift along the street like a dense London Fog. There are pops and whistles and booms all around you and the sky is painted in brilliant flashes of fire streaked glory. Happy birthday America…
There is no better place in the world to celebrate the 4th of July than Lander Wyoming. I’m not being hyperbolic about this point, it is fact.
The fireworks display that the locals put on alone will rival that of any other you will ever see but that’s not exactly what makes it so special. There is an energy that exists in Lander during the 4th that is electric and joyous and chaotic and authentic. It truly is an event that you have to experience to understand.
If you are a Lander kid, that magic begins with the hissing snap that is igniting your first fuse.
I see that excitement in my children’s eyes, that barely contained, pyromaniacal infatuation. I see it and I remember feeling the exact same way when I was their age. There is just something about sending a loud explosive into the air that makes you feel truly free. And this is what the 4th of July is all about. I try to remind my kids of this as well as instill in them just how lucky they are to have been born in this great country.
It’s important to me that my kids appreciate the priviliage of being born American. We’ve got a lot of people in this country that want to trash it these days and these people are simpletons, pandering to some fringe notion that makes them feel edgy or superior. I don’t have time for these people. I hope my kids don’t either.
Tonight I watched my kids, sitting on the back of my 63 Impala and staring up at the sky in utter amazement. My neighborhood is especially patriotic. It was a cool evening with the the occasional thunder shower that laid a wonderful backdrop for the fireworks. And we just felt free.
Freedom is a state of mind. It’s the reason our founding father’s signed the declaration of Independence. From the pioneers forging westward to those who fought for the civil rights movement to three boys staring up at Lander’s sky on the fourth of July…
God bless the U.S.A.