Independence Day.... 4th of July.... July 4th.... Is it just another red-letter day on our calendars? One of the key advantages of being in the autumn of my life is the reminiscing on happy days gone by. Through God’s grace, I allow Him to erase harmful memories. As I celebrate today, I would be remiss if I did not dedicate this patriotic piece to my Father, Franklin F. Ford.
Dad loved our nation, the military and Independence Days of ‘unabashed patriotism.’ How do I know? Extra money was seldom in ample supply. Yet, he sensed the importance of teaching his children the excitement of backyard sparkler waving after sunset. I still remember the trips to my Uncle Alex’s neighborhood grocery store to buy our fireworks. The long white boxes held handfuls of sparklers.
Reaching inside, we pulled out the first sparklers of the night and waited as Dad or Mom lit them for each of us individually. Then the fun began. Quickly, we twirled the sparklers at arm’s length and created our own colorful fireworks shows! Occasionally, Dad took us to see fireworks on a larger scale at ‘Suburban Park,’ Manlius. There, we gave verbal approval to the breathtaking sights in the sky above.
King David, in recollection of shepherding flocks under star filled skies, worshiped the Creator. “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him (Psalms 8:3-4a NKJ)?”
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