This Independence Day in Keystone Heights was just as busy (and fun) as usual. For a few of us, it started as early as 7:00, when Papa, Daniel, Joseph, and Nehemiah helped prepare the fire trucks at KHVFD for the parade.
After the parade, most of us ended up at the Volunteer Fire Station, which always holds an open house and serves as the unofficial "end" of the parade. For Daniel and Joseph, as Fire Explorers, the 4th of July still had its best part in store...Fireworks: up close!
Daniel, and Joseph were able to be on Volunteer Brush Trucks, very close by the firework launching site. As usual, this provided a spectacular view of the Keystone Heights Firework show. Joseph, in fact, viewed an up-close mishap. In Joseph's words:
Our Independence day celebrations were just as enjoyable as ever. Just as with all celebrations, we mustn't fail to remember the servicemen who, for generations past, have given the greatest sacrifice in defense of our nation.
I was laying on my bunker gear, which I had spread out on the grass, when I realized that the latest firework had exploded a little lower than normal. I sat up to look at the launching station--which was about 200 feet in front of us, when suddenly a firework exploded at ground level! All the pyrotechnics at the site dove to the ground as cardboard shrapnel and large embers flew in every direction. Mr. Curtis, the volunteer who was manning Brush 10, grabbed a shovel and headed off towards a spot fire (a fire started by floating embers) which was about 3 feet in diameter. Woods 10 soon doused a small tree which had caught fire, and proceeded to hose down grass which had begun to smolder. We talked to the pyrotechnics who, though shaken, managed to finish up the show with a (slightly shortened) grand finale.
Though our nation often strays far off the path which our founding fathers intended it to be on, we must remember that despite it all--the freedom which we experience in America is something to be treasured, and defended for it is increasingly uncommon throughout the world.