Today is Independence Day in the United States, generally a busy day of fun for Americans, so I’ll keep this short.

I love fireworks with all the color and the booming noise that you can feel in your chest. Growing up in a military family, we saw town celebrations and fireworks shows all over the United States. But unlike those days, Independence Day is no longer the only time you can see a good fireworks show.

The beach by my house this morning. It’s not usually this busy. Photo: Cathy Hanson

So here are some fireworks memories from my personal history, although not all happened on the Fourth of July.

  • In Spokane we had a semi-pro soccer team that sometimes had a fireworks show after the game. We were able to lie out on the field and it felt like the colors were falling right down onto us. Of course, the pitch was artificial turf and 22 players had spent 90 minutes spitting all over it. Still totally worth it.
  • When I was about 11 or 12 years old (I know that because it happened in Michigan), I was standing behind a friend who was crouched down lighting a bottle rocket or something. He hopped back and then stood up. He had some type of utility knife in his back pocket. Over 40 years later and I still have a scar on my thigh. Yes, I’m sure my mother told me that if I refused to get stitched up that I would have a scar for the rest of my life. Listen to your mommies, kids.
  • When my niece was about 4 years old, we had a family night at a semi-pro baseball game and they had fireworks at the end. She loved the pretty colors, but screamed bloody murder at the noise. I may have told her that she was making more noise than the fireworks.
  • When I first moved to California, we realized that we could stand on a jetty down at the beach and see 7 different fireworks shows. We had the roar of the surf, but unfortunately we didn’t get that booming noise. So a couple of years ago we went to the Legoland parking lot to watch their display. And we could hear all the booms! And those booms set off every car alarm in the parking lot.

Feel free to share any fireworks memories you have!