I went camping with my family, my sisters family, and a family that are close friends of ours, almost family in fact. We went out to the Oregon coast and had a ball. We went to a small town parade that truly demonstrated the spirit of America and why we celebrate the 4th of July. It was refreshing to see when the Coast Guard Color Guard lead the Parade, People stood and covered their hearts as the flag passed. It was nice to see the local Boy Scouts following the color guard carrying a banner and getting big cheers from the crowd. Old fashioned cars, dogs dressed in Red, White, and Blue, fire trucks, and horses, but all of them proud to be Americans and happy to be living in the land of the free.
Then back to camp for rest and relaxation, hamburgers and hot dogs and some good potato salad, sitting around the fire and enjoying the sounds of campers having a great weekend.
As it began to get dark, it was time to go see the fire works. We grabbed our lot of sparklers and other spectacular noise makers and headed to a point on the Columbia river. Positioned so that we could see the fire works from Astoria to Long beach. It was fantastic! We turned up the radio in my truck to get the simulcast from the fire work show in Seaside and began to celebrate. All at once the Star Spangled Banner began to play over the radio as the fire work show began. Without a word I noticed that everyone in our group had turned and looked to a nearby flag pole where the flag was still flying. Not a sound, other than that of a lone voice singing our National Anthem. Pride filled my heart as I looked to five young men standing in the back of my brother in laws pick up truck. Standing tall, hands over their hearts, quiet.
These five boys are all Boy Scouts and without a word to pay attention or put your hand over your heart, or be quiet, they knew what to do. At the last note they turned to see the smiles on all of our faces. We all were and are proud of them. They get it.
It was a perfect way to end the day.. start the celebration.. and call this one of the best Independence days ever.
Character, Citizenship, and Fitness… You gotta love the Boy Scouts of America!
Have a Great Scouting Day!