They started gathering about dusk. Dusty pickup trucks, some came in almost new 4x4s, jacked up until they were three feet off the ground. There were a lot of SUVs too. And cars that saw their better days ten years ago.
The people were from the county and the city. Men and women who just had a long weekend away from the job, already thinking about the work waiting for them today. Kids who ate too many hot dogs, drank too many cokes, they were came too.
We are there to watch and listen. We wanted to see the fireworks. We wanted to watch the clouds of smoke drift away. Then listen for another crump of sound and another explosion of light and sparkles two hundred feet above our heads.
The Fourth of July isn’t over until the last of the fireworks fade into the dark.
I love it.
Fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand-in-hand. Every year, after the party, at the end of the day, when the sun sets on the Fourth of July, American skies are filled with fireworks.
We see the rocket’s red glare and those bombs bursting in air. We light the fuses and stand back. We listen to The Star Spangled Banner. We celebrate.
Last night, at the baseball field just north of town, the fireworks were better than that.
It was our hometown’s doing. It was local.
Our state senator and a couple of business owners get together every year. They put up the money, they put on the show. They share the love they have for the American Dream.
We sat in the backs of pickup trucks. Some others sat in folding chairs on the grass. The kids were fidgeting, running in the dark, waiting for the show to begin. Mamas were holding their babies in their arms, cradling them, protecting their children. There was a lot of laughing, the teenaged girls were giggling, as they do. The boys were shy.
We were celebrating America’s birthday. We were at a baseball field, ready for the fireworks. All we needed was ice cream and some apple pie.
They turned off the street lamps, fired off one rocket. People started paying attention.
The only competition for the fireworks was the soft glow of cell phones. The fireworks were going to win.
The local radio station was tuned in, playing patriotic music. They said the music would be in tune with the rockets and bombs flying high.
Ten thousand people, looking at nine thousand cell phones, waiting for the show to begin.
I think most everyone from the town and the county was there. Moms and Dads, sister, brothers and cousins. Free fireworks means a lot in Mississippi. For twenty or thirty minutes, we were all kin, we were all Americans.
Thank God for America and I hope the fireworks were made in the USA.
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