I had grown up in Washington listening to my mother reminisce about this wonderful event. Finally, I was going to get to witness it firsthand. Momma talked daddy into scheduling our trip back home around this holiday. I will admit, I agree with daddy, Kansas in July is insanely hot.
I hung out with my cousins Dawn and Trish at the carnival. What fun that was! Then again, what twelve-year-old doesn't enjoy getting to spend the day eating fair food and going on carnival rides to their hearts content?
It seemed everyone from the carnival goers, to the men and women working the rides, migrated in the same direction as the sun sank lower in the western sky. The fireworks were about to start and not one person there wanted to miss it.
Huge bursts of colors exploded in the sky. All the colors of the rainbow were there. It was amazing to see them bursting in the sky in time to the good old down home country music that was playing. Fireworks extravaganza indeed!
The melodic sound of the Star Spangled Banner played over the speakers. My momma tapped me on the shoulder then pointed off to the left.
"Watch over there Ashleigh," the smile that lit her face filled my heart with joy.
The music continued to play as a different type of fireworks exploded. These were not high in the air, but set up to create specific designs about twelve feet off the ground. 'Oohs' and 'Aahs' could be heard throughout the crowd, as the images came to life. The Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty and of course Old Glory herself lit up the night sky.
"Awesome," sprang from my lips. I joined everyone around me in applauding the display. I had never seen anything so incredibly wonderful in all my years, before or since. Every time I recall that Fourth of July in Peabody, Kansas; my heart and soul fill with the joy and pride in the colors of my country… red, white and blue.
I am proud to say, “I am an American.”