Marla Smart: 4th of July isn't just about fireworks and burgers

Happy weekend of the Fourth of July!

I know many of you spent a fun-filled day outdoors with friends and family (hopefully staying cool) and many of you are extending that celebration to include camping and playing over the weekend, too.

This holiday brings back fond memories for me of my daddy taking us out to the fields (he was a cotton and peanut farmer) to pop fireworks. Back in the day in Texas, we could get bottle rockets and Roman candles (my favorite!) and light up the night sky. Because of the miles and miles of flat land, we would be able to see many other families doing the same thing.

Our family would also attend the county’s fireworks display at our county park. I remember sitting on a blanket in the grass with my brothers and "oohing" and "ahhing" over all the beautiful lights. My favorite part of the night was the finale. There were many fireworks up in the air, but the best part was a sparkly replica of the American flag. I think it was made of a metal frame with some kind of red, white and blue sparklers attached. We would all clap and cheer when it was lit.

As much as I love to celebrate a fun holiday, I want my kids to know why we celebrate this particular one. It isn’t just a day to eat great burgers and set off lots of fireworks. This is “Independence Day,” the day we remember how our country was founded. It commemorates the day we declared independence from Great Britain.

I may not always be in agreement with how it is run, but I love my country. I don’t want to forget how it all started. Establishing this country gave people a chance to live free from the tyranny of a government that made every choice for them. I am proud to live in a place where I have freedom to speak and worship the way I choose. I want my children to feel the same way. I never want them to forget what makes our country great. I never want them to back down from demanding the rights we were given so long ago as citizens of this great land.

Marla Smart is married with three teenagers. Read her Fridays on Douglas County Moms. Also check out her personal blog here.

I am proud to live in a place where I have freedom to speak and worship the way I choose. I want my children to feel the same way.


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The News-Review Updated Aug 8, 2013 11:35AM Published Jul 23, 2013 02:19AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.