We had nowhere to go on the Fourth of July, so I did what I always do when I have no place to go: I watched TV.
I watched the Macy’s fireworks special from New York, which Whitley had recorded for me. After that, I watched Private Benjamin, a Goldie Hawn movie about a pampered young woman who ends up joining the army and jumping out of airplanes. It’s a wonderful film, and contains some terrific marches, which Whitley remembers from his boyhood days in military school.
The film was delightful and the fireworks were spectacular. I recalled, also, that a friend of ours, who is now an international lawyer, jumped out of airplanes when he was in the National Guard during the Viet Nam War era. His stories of just how difficult this was returned to mind, and I reflected on how much it actually takes to be a member of our superb military. A soldier’s life is an act of courage, pure and simple.
After watching Private Benjamin, I was surprised to remember this, and how powerfully the memory affected me. I also watched the fireworks eagerly, remembering the many times that we’d been direct spectators of this event when we lived in New York.
After that, I was tired, so I crawled into bed wearing my red, white and blue pajamas. And that’s how I spent the Fourth. Not too exciting, but filled with wonderful memories and a deep sense of pride in the country that I love.
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