Does anyone else get chills listening to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture? Does anyone NOT get chills when the Massachusetts National Guard starts shooting off cannons alongside the Boston Pops Orchestra?
Now, most Americans think that the piece commemorates our battles. They're wrong. It's about Russia and France. If you listen closely, you can hear the old Russians singing, "God Save the Czar" and strains of France's "La Marseilles" trying to drown it out. The Czar wins in the end. It's all there in the music.
But we Americans love the idea of protecting our country from invaders. And we adore heavy artillery alongside good music. So we now claim the 1812 as ours.
Trivia: This year's Boston fireworks celebration was immediately preceded by what:
A. A streaker attempting to commandeer one of the MA National Guard's cannons.
B. An evacuation due to impending storm
C. 12 hours of camping out on a sun-scorched grassy plain in the hopes of getting close to the Hatch Shell stage.
D. A crowd of thousands in funny hats belting out patriotic tunes.
While A would be memorable and would certainly make the news, to the best of my knowledge, only answers B, C, and D are correct.
We're still waiting to see the fireworks.
Last year, HeyMama was terrified by the sound of fireworks, and our neighborhood fireworks enthusiasts were ruining her night. I tried to explain why we Americans like to blow things up on the 4th of July.
Me: "We're celebrating being free."
HM: (pause) "Oh, just like VBS"
Me: (longer pause) "How is it like VBS?"
HM: "At VBS we learned about Moses and how he asked Pharoh to set his people free."
Me: "Yes, you're exactly right. People still celebrate that freedom at Passover, and people celebrate our country being free on the 4th of July."
We'll skirt the issues of whether or not God had the same hand in America's freedom as He did in the Isrealites' freedom, and how bright explosions got involved...
Most of us spend the day surrounded by family and friends. We make memories, we keep up traditions. We honor those who continue to ensure our freedom. We thank our God for living in a country where we have the ability to raise our children to worship Him in the way that we believe is right.
There is much to celebrate today. Like the fact that HeyMama is sleeping through this year's fireworks.
Happy 4th of July to us all.