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Happy Birthday, America
Patriotism is a love for everything to do with our native land: its history, its traditions, its language, its natural features. It is a love that extends also to the works of our compatriots and the fruits of their genius. Every danger that threatens the overall good of our native land becomes an occasion to demonstrate this love. . . . The native land is the common good of all citizens and as such it imposes a serious duty.
Saint John Paul II
In New England, colonial history is celebrated with vigor—even the smallest towns offer fireworks displays. The grandest of all are the fireworks in Boston. It’s pure Americana, accompanied by the Boston Pops Orchestra playing the “1812 Overture” underneath the stars along the Charles River.
I’ve always loved fireworks. There’s something wonderful about taking the family, putting out lawn chairs and blankets, gazing at the night sky, and conversing together.
I remember when my oldest was a toddler—he was excited all day, anticipating the fireworks. Sadly, when the first one fired, followed by cannon-like booms, an explosion of tears erupted from him for the rest of the show. As my son sobbed into my shoulder, I recalled that today’s holiday is both joyous and bittersweet. We rejoice in our freedoms as Americans. Yet the fireworks and the “bombs bursting in air” remind us of the dangers that liberty faces daily.
Jesus, increase my love of country and its people, as you increase my longing for heaven.
To Ponder: Why not enjoy the fireworks outdoors or on television? Share with your family the goodness in our nation. Offer a prayer for the patriotic men and women who defend it today, and those from years gone by.
Copyright 2016 Pat Gohn for A Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion.
Reprinted with the kind permission of Ave Maria Press. All rights reserved.
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