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Family Matters Blog: Remembering the Fourth of July

By Heather Forsgren Weaver
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2010 – Heather Forsgren Weaver is a regular contributor to Family Matters. In this blog, Heather remembers past Independence Days including those spent on an Army fort and asks everyone to take a moment to thank the servicemembers who sacrifice to protect our freedom. 

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Fireworks burst over Yokota Air Base, Japan, July 4, 2009. The 374th Force Support Squadron provided Yokota residents and their guests with live entertainment, food and fireworks during the celebration. U.S. Air Force photo by Osakabe Yasuo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

From the first Independence Day anniversary in 1777 to the present, Americans have taken time out on July 4th to remember the sacrifices our troops have made to protect our liberty. Americans will celebrate with parades, picnics and my personal favorite – FIREWORKS!

I love the colors and the magic of fireworks. I admit I am not very fond of the loud sounds they make, so I prefer to watch them from a distance.

During the 1990s, I found the perfect place to enjoy the spectacular Washington, D.C., fireworks without having to hear them or sit out all day in the heat and humidity. Overlooking the Potomac River, with a perfect view of the Washington Monument sits what used to be known simply as Fort Myer, Va. (It’s now called Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.)

Most of the people viewing the fireworks were from military families and it was interesting to learn where they were from and various places they had been stationed. In that pre-9/11 world, the thought of far-off fighting was a distant memory.

Today, the base is closed to the public on Independence Day, so you can no longer view the D.C. fireworks from there, and I will be enjoying my fireworks elsewhere. And, around the world, our servicemembers will be observing the day as well.

As I watch fireworks this weekend, I hope you will join me in being grateful for and remembering those serving in all the services – Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard - who are fighting to protect the freedom we celebrate every Fourth of July.

To comment on this blog, please visit the Family Mattersblog.

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