Independence Day

Early this morning I hung a flag in the front of our home. This is the first time that I have done this since the tragedy of September 11th. The weather, no doubt caught up in the patriotic spirit, decided to contribute a glorious day to the celebrations. The annual firework display was moved closer to our neighborhood and there was the possibility that, if the barges were anchored in a certain position in the Hudson, we would be able to catch it all from our second floor bedroom window.

For the first time in a long time, the number of people telling pollsters that the country is going in the right direction is increasing. I am in that group. Even when on a personal level I have suffered a great deal from the economic crisis, I haven’t felt this optimistic in at least a decade. The financial situation is a difficult one — and so many people have it even worse than our family — but I have bought into the sense of possibility that came over this country last November.

The promise of America is alive and well in America.

Fireworks From Our Window

The whole family, including our dog Celeste, got into the spirit of the day. For my two and a half year-old son, the highlight of the evening was not the lighting up of the Manhattan skyline with 50, 000 lbs. (did I hear correctly?) worth of explosives. For him, the evening went down hill after the Muppets made a surprise appearance on the Capitol Fourth show from Washington. They upstaged — in his view, judging from his reaction — Barry Manilow, Aretha and President Obama.

Earlier in the evening I had joked with his Mom that if we wanted to keep him up for the post 9:00 pm fireworks show, we should probably put him to bed. Sort of a reverse-psychology approach. But, it was tough keeping him up. He barely made it through the grand finale.

I just checked in on him and he’s sleeping soundly. I had this thought as I turned down the light in his bedroom: There’s no other country on the planet in which I would rather have him sleeping tonight.

More images for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

4th of July 2009 #01

4th of July 2009 #03

4th of July 2009 #06


and the grand finale!