July 4, 2006, was a day I can never forget, not only because it was a national celebration in the United States of America, but also it was my first Independence Day-My very first 4th of July after I was granted a permanent residency by the Department of Homelands. But even though I was just a green card holder, I felt that spirit of patriotism in everywhere and everybody-It made me realized how privileged I am to live in the land of the free, and home of the brave.
Here in Honolulu, aside from the yearly fireworks show at the Magic Island (a yearly festivity since 1933), in Ala Moana Beach (where thousands of families rush in early morning of every Independence Day, to get a spot in the sands, and find parking space too; just to be able to watch the fireworks at night), there are parades (in Kailua and Maui), concerts, and shows (every year) all over the Aloha state. And those impressed me too, knowing the bitter stories of statehood; I was amazed to see how enthusiastically the Hawaiians celebrate July 4th. On that day, it was clear to me that that the people of Hawaii have fully recuperated from the wounds of overthrown.
At the night of July 3, 2006, my husband (Arnel, a natural-born American) and I already prepared the things (along with the food) we needed for our whole day of picnic at the Magic Island. We brought two beach chairs, cooler (with canned iced teas, sodas, and bottled-water in it), beach towels, sunblock lotions, and few swimming clothes.
We arrived at the beach park (Ala Moana) around 6:20 a.m., of July 4th, and we did have a hard time finding parking and spot by the sand. It took us more than fifteen minutes to get settled.
But walking on the sand, as we look for a spot, I enjoyed seeing a lot of people displaying small flags of America. The flags were either poled somewhere on their beach chairs, or in the sand. Also, I saw quite a number of kids and ladies wearing various swimming outfits that shows the American flag.
Honestly, I never realized how Independence Day meant a lot to the American people, not until that day-it was then clear to me what brought U.S. to success-The principles sacredly enclosed in the Adoption of the Declaration of Independence; of upholding liberty and freedom, did not just freed its people and shaped their lives (to their great advantage), but they also made the United States of America, the strongest nation in the world.
Happy 236th Birthday, Uncle Sam! Happy 4th of July, America!