Ever since I was little Fourth of July has always battled with Christmas as my favorite holiday. Although it’s hard to compete with waking up to dozens of presents, my family consistently dubbed The Fourth as the ultimate day of celebration. Unlike Christmas or Thanksgiving, which were usually reserved for immediate or extended family, on The Fourth anyone and everyone could come over. The grill turned out an endless supply of finger food, I’d make new friends with whatever kids happened to show up, and more likely than not it was hot enough that all day could be spent running in and out of the ocean. On top of my hometown’s quintessentially American Fourth of July parade, my dad would set off our personal fireworks show. If I was lucky, I got to watch it from an inner tube in the ocean, which I always thought was just about the coolest thing.
This year I was in the city and on The Cape for The Fourth, and while it’s hard to compete with those childhood memories, there’s also something special about getting to enjoy such an important holiday in an urban environment. You fully realize just how many people are celebrating alongside you, and if that doesn’t stir up some serious patriotism, I don’t know what will.