Fourth of July memories

Published 2:32 pm Friday, July 7, 2017

My most memorable July 4 celebration was the one held in New York City during Liberty Weekend, July 3-6, 1986. That was when the nation celebrated the completed restoration and the centennial year of the Statue of Liberty. Extensive work had been ongoing on our Lady since 1984.

The celebration promised to be such a huge event that my husband and I, who were living in Ohio at the time, decided to accept the invitation of old friends who lived in the city to visit and attend the celebration.

As it happened, our friend worked in an office on the 29th floor of One Battery Place, at the foot of Manhattan Island. We road a jam-packed subway down to his office, where we joined many others to see the fireworks.

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Through the windowed wall we had an excellent position from which to view the spectacular display.

Forty thousand pyrotechnic devices were set off from four barges placed strategically around the tip of the island in New York Harbor. All seemed to have been fired simultaneously and the show went on for 28 minutes.

The aerial displays opened at our eye level, and as we were surrounded by showers of stars, soaring comets and colorful displays, you felt you could reach out and touch them.

It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.

There were literally millions of people on the grounds for the celebration. When it came time to leave we blended into the crush of people, headed back to the subway. We were just shoved along with where the crowd took us..

Then, the most amazing thing happened as we were shuffling along in the crowd. We heard someone behind us calling my husband’s name. At first we just ignored it, but as they kept calling, we turned and found a man we knew from our hometown area in Ohio.

Who would have thought you could have found someone you knew in that crowd of millions joyfully celebrating the 4th!

I have seen many beautiful fireworks shows since then, including the ones in Washington DC, but none have ever compared to those we saw along with our restored Lady Liberty that evening in New York City.