A July 4 Like No Other

Flag Tree LoneIt was one of the oddest, if not the oddest, July 4th I’d ever experienced. For starters, I wasn’t even in the good ole’ US of A, but instead in a clearing on the edge of a group of mountains in central Asia. And though I was with American citizens, the group was far broader than Americans; it included a variety of races and nationalities.  Someone had brought a small flag, and it was hanging—not flying—precariously yet intentionally from a tree limb. And fireworks? Yeah, the family I was with bought a simple and single quick-light “explosive” from a shop in town, then together we set it off in the backyard later that evening. Few, if any, of the neighbors knew why. Sounded like the dogs knew as they responded with incessant barking.

Yet, as we sang “My Country Tis of Thee” in the makeshift picnic area, as well…

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