"Solemnize with Illuminations"
On July 2, 1776, the 2d Continental Congress voted unanimously (voting by individual colonies) in favor of Virginia's resolution that "these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States." THAT was our declaration of independence from Great Britain, further solemnized two days later with the Congress's adoption of Thomas Jefferson's eloquent written Declaration of Independence (so eloquent, obviously, that the date of ITS adoption became our Independence Day).
John Adams was so ecstatic over the resolution's passage that he wrote to his wife Abigail, back in Massachusetts, that evening:
The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most
memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . I am apt to believe that it will be
celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It
ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion
to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized
with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and
Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time
forward forever more.
He was wrong about that "memorable" date, but right about the rest.
Every year the Queen City of the Sound (i.e., New Rochelle) provides for spectacular fireworks after dark has settled upon us on July 4. From our vantage point, we can also see easily the shows in Larchmont and on Long Island, and if we ascend the tower atop our house, we can see many others, even Manhattan's.
This year, like last year, the fireworks were done by Fireworks by Grucci--top of the line performance. They were set up on Big Harrison Island, one of the 5 islands that make up the city park lying between our property and Echo Bay. So on our back porch we have excellent seats to see it all. Year after year we also allow whoever wishes to come to our back parking lot and baseball field to watch, and scores of folks come. The show lasts about 20 minutes.
Here's one of several video clips I shot last nite: