Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy July 4th

I celebrated the Fourth of July by getting up at 4:15 to go fishing. If you want live shrimp, you have to be at the marina before 5 am; they sold out three people behind us in line. I personally caught my first Spanish Mackerel ever; they generally run much further out than our boat can go. There were also speckled trout; I caught a bunch, and even had a few over 12 inches (limit size). One of the guys in the boat caught a couple of sheepshead and all of us had at least a few keeper trout, so with four people in the boat we ended up with a nice mess of fish.

For dinner, we ate hamburgers from the farm on the beach with my Dad's extended family. He and all six of his brothers and sisters were there; pretty impressive considering that 5 of them live a plane ride's distance away.

After dinner, there were the obligatory fireworks on the beach. My cousin, a veteran of Afghanistan, went back to the beach house before they started; apparently big bangs just aren't as fun when you've had the real thing fired at you.

Here at Grand Isle, the fireworks display started before dusk and will continue until well after midnight. No one organizes the fireworks; they are the conglomeration of multiple individual desires in the same place.

When I was a child, I loved the fireworks. As a adult, the fireworks are a reminder that people fought and died for the ideals of individual liberty and limited government enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. The battle is never over; these ideas are under continual assault, both from without and within, and have been since those words were penned and signed. There may come a day when we are required to make the same choice – to risk our lives for individual liberties, or to accept life without them. Should that time come, I hope that we can live up to the example that we are celebrating today.

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