This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Why the United States shoots off fireworks on the 4th of July

Everybody here in the U.S. was taught at school about the Spirit of '76 and independence from Britain. All of us have heard the Star-Spangled Banner, and many people have actually tried to sing it. But, like most things we have learned in school, the real meaning was somehow lost.

The fireworks that you will see tonight, on the 4th of July, commemorate not 1776, but 1812. My ggggreat grandfather John Overstreet, who fought in both wars, could have explained it to you.

It's all in the Star-Bangled Banner. The rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, were coming from British battleships attacking the port of Baltimore in 1812. Yeah, the British were still pretty sore about losing the colony in America. But, as the song says, in the morning the American flag was still there.

Yes, the United States declared independence in 1776, but it would take almost forty years to truly earn it. That's what the fireworks are all about, and why Americans sing The National Anthem.

The people who fought for the independence of this country deserve more than to have us *go through the motions*. It's too late to thank them, but not too late for us to understand.

What the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner mean

John Overstreet's pension. He survived the Revolutionary War and the war of 1812. If he didn't, I wouldn't be here!

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