Saturday, July 4, 2009
As we get near the end of the annual celebration of our nation's birthday, I have to pause and be thankful for all the blessings we enjoy as Americans. I've been particularly blessed in my life...my first house was less than 15 minutes from Ft McHenry where the Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key, I've lived less than 5 minutes from Mt Vernon (George Washington's house in Virginia) on land that actually belonged to George. I've celebrated the 4th on the National Mall in DC for the bicentennial in 1976, I've been to the Boston Pops 4th in Boston, I've watch 4th fireworks in California, Hawaii, on the beach in Florida, on the ocean on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, on the river in Maine; we've done the 4th in Texas, in Phildelphia, in Rhode Island, in Connecticut, and in a small town I can't remember the name of in New Hampshire. I've been to 4th of July celebrations overseas with Navy friends and family, and everyplace I've always felt a glow of pride and thankfulness for everyone who has ever been part of building this nation and keeping us free. Profound thanks to all of them. We all may define freedom differently, and we may not always have everything we want, but when Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture starts playing, and fireworks start bursting, we are all Americans and I dare you not to tear up! To celebrate our great country, a group of my reading buddies on LT and I have formed a new reading group/Challenge. We're going to read our way through all 50 states. You can join us if you want, we're not having prizes, and there's no deadline. We're reading fiction and non-fiction, but just discussing and helping each other find great reads about or set in every one of our wonderful, different and unique states. Just go to LT, set up a free account and join the group. Can't wait to see you there. Happy Reading and Happy 4th!