Yesterday we celebrated our nation's 237th birthday. On July 4, 1776 a group of brave men signed a document, The Declaration of Independence, which has forever changed the world.
There is something special about our mid-summer holiday. The Fourth of July undeniably belongs to the United States of America.
I love Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. Each is a special day to celebrate my faith and to take time to recognize the one who gives us every good and perfect gift. I also love Memorial Day, as we take a day to honor those brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice so we can be free.
However, my favorite holiday is the Fourth of July. Maybe it's because I was a member of the Bicentennial Class way back in 1976. But more than that, I just love the All-American celebration.
There's something special about burgers on the grill, a nice cold watermelon and time with family and friends.
The holiday evokes special memories of long ago summer days and evenings playing ball with my friends or enjoying a day at a crowded Pensacola Beach. And what would the holiday be without fireworks.
One of my favorite movie scenes of all times comes from the baseball classic, "The Sandlot." Those of you who know the movie as I do will quickly recall that the Fourth of July was the one chance the boys had to play night baseball as fireworks lit up the sky.
Most of us will never experience anything like that movie scene. But I think there's a part of every boy who has ever picked up a bat and ball that longs for the perfect summer night of playing baseball as Roman candles explode overhead to the tune of Ray Charles singing “America the Beautiful” in the background.
I'm in DeLand this week celebrating the holiday with my family. I'm hoping my dad and I can catch a few innings of a baseball game on TV. Fortunately, Dad's favorite team, the Philadelphia Phillies, and my favorite, the Los Angeles Dodgers, aren’t playing each other, so maybe we will be pulling for the same team.
It seems like only yesterday I was a boy enjoying those endless summers of youth. Sadly, every summer eventually comes to an end, as do all the seasons of life.
In every season we should look for a reason to celebrate. I celebrated the Fourth with those I love. I’m thankful for the day, all the days past and those still to come, that living in this great country allows.
Happy Birthday, America.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.