Then the phone call came from my youngest daughter almost in tears while at work. She was somewhat bored, and wanted to talk about past memories. Family ties and times. Without her knowing this, she made me create this blog of past times or family times together, and added part of the future now within our lives. The memories she spoke of were so long ago, yet they were important to keep in mind of today's thoughts. So much has changed as we have grown older. And with that, I have taken the time to write this blog for all my children. My youngest that grieves for memories, and I do as well. My oldest that has her own memories with her career in the military. and sheds much light on today in many ways. Due to this, I am giving stories of past and present of what I have recorded, or have available to me. Below is a story of how our family use to celebrate the 4th of July. It seems like ages ago that we lived in that old country home and made this such a special day. I decided not to edit the story at all, yet one day I might expand on it., and correct all things that need to be corrected within it. If you are a reader of my blog, please continue on with other things that have affected my family in their grown up years.
I finally wrote my memories years later, as when these wonderful memories happened, my children fell between the ages of 3 to 7 and continued until they were of ages of 13 to 17. I did not edit my memories, but someday I think I will, as they can be somewhat confusing. When I wrote the entry of our past 4th of July memories, I was writing them for myself at the time!
July 4th Memories
Written July 5th, 2005 THEREFORE COPYRIGHT! (This is when I finally felt comfort in writing expressed memories of family and life, and so glad I did, and hope to continue to do so)
The Fourth of July has always been a great celebration with us. At a younger age, I am not sure of why, but as I grow older, somewhat realize my thinking on this. Husband, family, kids, government, history, and so much more. At some special place, they all seem to bond, or connect somehow. Someway.
But this is about memories. Important ones that I still dream about and remember so many years ago. 4th of July ended up with my family bigger than Christmas or any other holiday. Presents were not involved, or eggs, or any gifts. This holiday was meant for true fun, love, friends, bonding, cook outs, laughs, and many loud noises.
Alright, I will get to the point. But, I have to paint a picture to get there, and an honest one.
We lived in old farmhouse, pretty much in the boondocks, where dogs ran without leashes, and everyone in residence there, was a member of the small community. Our house was over a football length from the road. Pigs, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, and other country critters lived on our property. And taking advantage of this, we started a new history with us, and hopes with our children. It started small at first. But ended up large and larger over the years.
The 4th of July Celebration. "Wake up, get up" I demanded. "But it is so early", the children protested. "Point well taken. GET UP!"
This was an important day, especially concerning the fort. The Fort each year made us dream of what we would do the next year with sticks and mud. What strategies were involved. Who would be the last man standing, or "King of The Hill?"
The Fort was the most important part of the Celebration. Tiny sticks were gathered and broken with care in precise of the owner of the stick. These sticks were the Fort, and the fort needed great detail. The fort was to be demolished with the fireworks, that consisted of so many explosions! Bottle Rockets, Fire Crackers, Tanks to set them all off, and trust me, I do not remember all the names of the fireworks bought. ( I wish I did remember!)
I am hoping my children will remember. IF not, my husband will. All day my children worked so hard on this, to blow up the Fort. My husband and myself worked on cooking or entertaining the crowd. (Word had gotten around of the Fort and our fun)
After the first Fort was blown (trust me, over the years, I found tiny parts of that day)
we ate dinner, which was also a great thing. We always cooked out and had BBQ ribs, Potato Salad, Baked Beans and Rolls. But, back to the Fort, a second chance was given. Build better, remember what you did, correct if possible or needed. This was the true time of work, concentrating. This was at night, when you could think on things, see things, and remember. This was when the Fort lit the sky with all the fireworks at hand, and in darkness, you could see your laid plans. This is what we remember and still talk about today. And I am so thankful that we have this.
Written for Jim and his encouragement to do this, and so I wrote this story.
Yesterday, July 3rd. 2007, my oldest daughter sent me an email which I am sharing with all. Within her email to me, she was not concerned of who wrote what and who took pictures, but I, as a writer know that writings need to have credit due to who wrote what or at least the history concerning this. (Therefore I apologize if I left any thing out, photo of pictures, mentioned names, etc., as it was not intentional. I did try to research to cover it all. )
Readers need to keep in mind that my daughter is in the Air Force and stationed in Iraq, and as far as I am concerned, she is in immediate danger. The war does that to parents to think that way! The first thing in her email was
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG, OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND TO THE REPUBLIC, FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!
My first question was WHO WROTE THAT? That was the first thing I really wanted to know and had no idea that it had a history with it. But it does. See below!
On September 8, 1892 a Boston-based youth magazine "The Youth's Companion" published a 22-word recitation for school children to use during planned activities the following month to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America. Under the title "The Pledge to the Flag", the composition was the earliest version of what we now know as the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
And the story continues! Just a few days later it was changed! “I pledge allegiance to my Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all. October 11, 1892”
And then changed again 31 years later to
“I pledge allegiance to my the Flag of the United States,and to the Republic for which it stands:one Nation indivisible,With Liberty and Justice for all.”
June 14, 1923
Then changed exactly one year later to read
I pledge allegiance to the Flagof the United States of America,and to the Republic for which it stands:one Nation indivisible,With Liberty and Justice for all.
June 14, 1924
Then again changed by Dwight Eisenhower in 1954, 30 years later by adding the words “under God”. See below and follow link of http://www.homeofheroes.com/hallofheroes/1st_floor/flag/1bfc_pledge.html
The last change in the Pledge of Allegiance occurred on June 14 (Flag Day), 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved adding the words "under God".
Just a little history for any interested.
My daughter in the Air Force, also sent me in her email, these words of “For all of our military personnel, where ever they may be. And God Bless our Military who are protecting our Country for our freedom.. Thanks to them, and their sacrifices we can celebrate the 4th of July. We must never forget who gets the credit for the freedoms we have, of which we should be eternally grateful” I tried to research these worlds, and could not find them via the Internet. She may have written them herself. I will find out and when I do, I will give credit where credit is due. I find it a powerful statement, no matter who quoted it.
Also in her email, she gave a poem written, yet did not say who pinned it. I searched it, and found the author of the poem. The name of the author is Kelly Strong, dated 1981 http://www.wrensworld.com/notfree.htm. And I for one applaud her for bringing such strong words to hearts and minds, and with so much emotion!
I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Soldier saluted it,
And then he stood at ease..
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men and women like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still, I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin.
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children, Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.
Last, but not least, my daughter sent me several pictures to make her point. I apologize that I do not know who took the pictures she sent me, but if anyone can point them out to the photographer, I will certainly give credit where credit is due, and I am just hoping that who is responsible for such wonderful images will understand that I wanted to use these images as they were from my daughter who is fighting a war that no one really understands, or have problems understanding, and she chose your pictures and images to verify and express her feelings. And if these pictures or images are yours, please alert me so that I can give profound credit to such wonderful images that tells stories!
So there, you have it, my all of my thoughts, my memories, my love of my children and with this I wish all a Happy Fourth of July of 2007. Be thankful that we can celebrate it.
The pictures my daughter in the Air Force sent to me, made me cry and at the same time hold strong of my feelings and made me brave, especially concerning my children. I am so thankful that my children, regardless of their ways, brought me out of my mundane life to face the reality of their lives and the world as a whole.
I hope all had fire works this 4th of July of 2007, as I did, and did not even expect the fireworks, but some how they managed to explode in my heart!