Independence Day was the best when I was a teenager. We didn’t do a lot of cooking out but we would spend the day on the river. Boats and water.. those were the words of the day. Whether it was power boating and water skiing or under sail, there wasn’t a better place to be than out on the Pasquotank with friends. There was a small beach down by the Coast Guard Base where many boaters would congregate to visit, grab a bite to eat or swim before heading back out to sail some more or to water ski or just to ride the river.
As the day would move along, we would all head back up the river. Many of us would call it a day and head on back in while others would take their time… slowly working our way back up… waiting on the sun to go down so we could just stay out on the water and watch the fireworks. I can remember watching the fireworks from both perspectives on the river and standing in downtown Elizabeth City and I have to say, it really didn’t matter. It was always a ton of fun to gather with friends and just hang out… the fireworks were just a really good excuse.
As I have gotten older, the significance of the day has become more apparent.. it is not the great unity that we all feel as Americans… it is actually the disagreements.. the arguments on what we need to do…. with health care, with banking regulation, with terrorism, with the debt… yes, it is about the debate, not the agreement. By allowing all of these voices to be heard, even those with which we disagree, gives us the best chance to be the best we can be… and no doubt it makes this country the best place to live.
So if you are on the narrows boating… on the OBX beaching it… or somewhere else enjoying the day… be safe and celebrate a little bit!