I don't care where you are, or what you think is big and spectacular, you can't have 4th of July any better than at a military installation. I had debated about going on post for the Freedom Fest because I get cranky with crowds but I also knew that once it was all said and done I'd be glad I did. Such was the case for today. Would you believe that not even 15 minutes into our day at the "Fest" my camera batteries went dead! Should have done some *PMCS on the cam! Nita and I went on a ride and got a bit dizzy (I'm hoping I'm not getting too old for the fun rides...I'm going to blame it on the fact that the ride went really fast and then slowed down, at least that's what Nita says and I'll go with that!) We wandered around a bit, the boys and I hit each other with some pugil sticks, ok, I admit I had a somewhat unfair advantage over Neil, but hey...he asked for it! The boys also did some rock wall climbing. Neil made it about halfway up, Daniel struggled and pouted that "it was too hard". My wonderful OCD child Michael was bound and determined to get up that wall and he did. When he got to the top, the bell wouldn't ring, wouldn't you know he stayed up there until he got it to! Go Michael! The crowd cheered for him, I'm so proud! You're right Nita, he's not wimpy at all!!
The Army had all their vehicles out to play. I hate to admit sadly, that all the vehicles no longer thrill my children. While they still love Army life, they don't get as excited as they used to. I suppose that's the hazard of being Army Brats and being drug all over to see all the Army toys time and time again! They did get excited, however, at the parachute jump that brought in the American flag. They oohed and aahhed with everyone else! I admit, I got excited too, LOVED it, took me back to Fort Campbell since the jumpers were from the Screaming Eagles Division! One of the jumpers was a Soldier wounded in OIF and lost his leg. That was awesome to see him back on jump status. Of course I get all touched and patriotic anytime the color guard brings in our nation's colors. Tonight was no exception. They not only honored our nation as a whole but each individual state as well and I give total props to the all the members of the color guard for holding strong to those flags as the wind was kicking pretty good!
The music tonight was pretty good, there were moments when I wondered but they redeemed themselves. I have to say that 1st Cavalry Division has some great talent!
The finale of the night, of course, was the fireworks. Getting them started was the Salute Battery firing the cannons, can't get more Army then that...nothing better then the smell of smoke from artillery in your nostrils! The fireworks were AMAZING like always and the music that went with it was fabulous too!
As the fireworks were going off, I was thinking about the celebrations going on all over the nation and wondered how many people were thinking about the troops who had made all that possible, I wondered if for a moment they stopped and thought about the families who were apart, the families broken forever, the servicemembers enduring their own types of "fireworks" in a combat zone, out in the desert of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan. Did they understand, truly, what today really meant? The volunteers who signed the Declaration of Independence to the volunteers today who serve all over the world protecting freedom, how many stopped and thought about what "Independence Day" really means?
What is the price of freedom, do you know?
Yes, you do, courtesy of my husband...an American Soldier.