I will never forget when our little daughter asked with a big pouty lip why there wasn’t a parade or fireworks on her birthday. With her birthday falling just a few weeks after mine, I am sure it was hard for her to understand that the parades and fireworks were for our nation and not for me personally, although my birthday fell on the fourth.

Although we always celebrated my birthday with the traditional gifts and cake, I always felt just a little slighted, as many kids do who share their birthday with a holiday. I didn’t necessarily want everything on my birthday decorated in red, white and blue every year. While my siblings got to eat their favorite foods on their birthday, somehow it always seemed most fitting to have a cookout with hamburgers and hot dogs for my birthday, not Chinese food, which was my favorite. The day was always pretty well planned with traditional activities not of my choosing.

And yet, the nature of the holiday itself made for a fun and exciting day, and it always began with a parade. I remember standing with my hand over my heart as the American flag was followed by veterans of past wars. The bands played patriotic music as they marched past while children waved small American flags and marched in place. I was taught at home and at school that our great nation was founded on principles of freedom and sealed with the blood of many great patriots throughout history.

I remember crowds gathering in the evening for the fireworks display. We would throw our blankets out on the grass and sit as families and friends. The program always began with the song “America the Beautiful” and the crowd sang along. As the fireworks lit up the sky, I always thought about the words,

And the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there.

Truly the Fourth of July is a great time to remember and celebrate all that we have as Americans, and for some of us, a nice day for a big slice of birthday cake.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved

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5 thoughts on “Born on the Fourth of July

  1. My cousin told me the same story about his dad, who was also born on the 4th of July. Charles couldn't ever understand why he didn't have all that ruckus on his birthday, too. Happy Birthday, Michelle!

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