July 4th, also known as Independence Day, is a national holiday in the United States. It was the day the our country signed the Declaration of Independence. this agreement allowed the 13 American colonies to have their independence from Britain, ultimately forming what we know today as the United States of America.
Today the 4th of July is celebrated by every American. It is a time to get together with family and celebrate what makes the U.S. the greatest country in the world. Every year on July 4th I go to my aunt and uncle’s house upstate in Cornwall, New York. Their house sits on a hill and overlooks where the town has their fireworks show. Cornwall has been rated as having one of the best fireworks show in the Hudson Valley for years. You can see the fireworks from the Hudson river. Many boating enthusiasts will watch the show from the Hudson river.
The fireworks show usually starts at 9 P.M. sharp. During the day, there is a 4th of July parade and a small fair with activities for the family. My uncle’s law firm has been on Main Street for years. So, we get a prime spot to view the parade right in the middle of the action. We put chairs out in front of his office to watch the parade. I usually bring a big bag of assorted candy for the kids that walk by. I usually notice kids looking at my wheelchair, but they are too afraid to ask questions. The candy is a great icebreaker to get the kids to ask me questions about my wheelchair. I educate them about life in a wheelchair and how iLevel® technology allows me to drive the power chair while elevated.
Once the parade is over and we have seen some of the vendors at the fair, we walk back to my uncle’s house to have a BBQ. By this time, my family members who are from the city usually arrive. Some of them who live on Long Island, Manhattan and New Jersey go to the original Nathan’s on Coney Island for the hot dog eating contest that is held every year before coming to my aunt and uncle’s house for the fireworks. Do not ask me how Nathan’s became a family tradition. But, it’s great to see everyone and they usually bring me a Nathan’s hat that I wear every year.
After a late lunch, we usually sit around and talk. There are usually a lot of people swimming and the music is playing in the background. You occasionally hear a neighbor shoot off some random fireworks that make you jump. Before you know it, the sun is setting, and everyone is getting ready for the fireworks show. It usually lasts about 20 minutes, which is fairly long for a firework show.
I’m very thankful for experiences like this. Spending holidays like the 4th of July with my family members are moments in my life that I will never forget. I hope everyone has a happy 4th of July and please stay safe.
About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.