It happens every year, beginning several days before the holiday, but really winds up on the 3rd and the 4th. Last night I imagined I was standing aboard ship with Francis Scott Key until dawn’s early light.
I don’t complain, but it does wreck my sleep for a few nights. This year we also delayed picking up our new puppy until the 6th. (Yes, my neighbor’s exuberance lasts five days.) The breeder kindly agreed to the postponement. He lives out in the country, away from the usual celebrations attached to this holiday, and we all deemed it safer for our pup.
Next year, we will have little Cooper conditioned to loud noises and our neighbor’s fun won’t bother him. We did this with all of our previous Brittanys and loud noises never bothered them. They ignored thunder, gunshots, and fireworks, except our first, Rusty. When the rockets would go off, he would run to the window to watch.
In general, I have great neighbors, and I don’t begrudge them their twice a year celebrations. (New Year’s is almost as rambunctious as the 4th.) And, I am only mildly complaining. Each rocket that shook the house reminded me of our freedoms, hard won by the blood and sacrifices of brave men and women. From our Founding Fathers to our current volunteer armed forces, we owe a great debt.
It is sad to know many no longer remember the reason behind this holiday, and others, such as Memorial Day and Veteran’s day. We need to keep our heritage alive, never let it slide away, forgotten. Our freedom came at too high a price to forget.
So, as each rocket bursts through the sky over my house, I will remember Francis Scott Key and the reason he penned our national anthem. A few hours of lost sleep is small sacrifice.
May our flag always fly over this land, and may we never, never forget why we celebrate.