Yesterday was the 4th of July, Independence Day. Did you join the celebration? Thanks to the Chinese, who invented fireworks, every American was within easy traveling distance of a fireworks display during the holiday weekend. Well, maybe some folks in North Dakota and Montana where not close to any fireworks displays because those states consist of miles and miles of miles and miles. Really!
Our little lake community in Pennsylvania has a neat traditional celebration during the 4th of July holiday that doesn’t include fireworks. Many of the residence living here travel around the place in golf carts. Entire families pile into modified carts for a trip to the pool. Folks hop in their cart for a trip to the mailbox. Others, load their paddles and life preservers on the back and head to their sailing craft at the boat dock. I even saw a guy in a golf cart hauling his fishing boat down to the boat dock the other day. In our woods the golf cart has become the buckboard of ‘olden days’.
With so many golf carts available it only makes sense to have a golf cart parade on the 4th of July. The golf carts get decorated and prizes are given to the best of the bunch. Bicycles are also included in the parade around the community. Folks who do not join the parade gather on the parade route to cheer and celebrate Independence Day.
Following the parade is a hot dog picnic beside the pool. Yes, the celebration is not complete without a hot dog!
This year a friend of mine, Dalton, decided to give a special tribute to the military veterans living in the community. He decorated two golf carts with the military service flags, attached a boom box to one cart playing the service hymns and rounded up vets from each service to ride along. From left to right are; Greg a Marine, Dalton-Army, Me-Air Force (Navy and Army sorry I don’t have a photo from the Army;
I couldn’t decide which uniform I liked best!), Vern a Marine, Neil-Army and Pat-Navy Seal.
Pat asked spectators along the parade route if they were Coast Guard veterans because we wanted to represent all the services next year. One guy replied, “No! I tried to join the Coast Guard but they wouldn’t take me. So, I became a Marine! (That’s a joke for those who might not understand military humor!)
Our little celebration was just one of many this past weekend which reminds us that we are all Americans. We live together with loads of differences but we are held together by our American citizenship. I hope you remembered this weekend what makes us great (And, we are great no matter what some might what us to think). We are a great nation because we believe all of us are created equal and all have the right to be treated with respect and dignity. On the 4th of July we celebrate our unique desire to live together as a diverse people willing to defend each others rights to live, worship, work and play in each ones own tradition. I love the ideal. I hope we strive to live up to that ideal as we share this journey together. Now that would be something to celebrate!