I remember America’s bicentennial, 1976, very well.
I was in Italy, vacationing with my parents; knowing that it was America’s 200th birthday I had – oh, those innocent traveling days! – smuggled some firecrackers with me. I lit them off while on the rocky beach of a hotel, creating some initial concern allayed when my parents explained what was going on.
Even then, in my youth, I knew that America was something special – something to be celebrated. I knew that the risk of being caught with the fireworks could result in bad things for me… but it was nothing compared to the risks faced by these great men (and women!) that created the country I live in.
I get goosebumps ever time I watch this John Adams scene:
Happy Birthday, my beloved country.