Dang it's been like a whole week.
It must be because Fourth of July is my absolute favorite holiday. There are no expectations, no family obligations, just pure summer fun with sunburns, parades, ice cream, corn on the cob, and grilled meat.
So I've been keeping to myself, too busy to come here and bitch and complain.
This year in the annual Flagstaff Fourth of July parade the stars where the firemen, the Hot Shots, as they are called around here. They dress in yellow shirts, carry axes and chain saws and wear either brown or Forest Service green pants. They got the standing ovation this year and it just sent shivers down my spine. Theses are no ordinary firemen. They are the guys who get sent into the forest to try and create fire breaks in the forest fires. They cart miles and miles of hose deep into the forest to dry and soak portions of the forest that are threatened. They had just finished putting out one of the biggest fires I can remember and some of them even had singed pants as they walked thru the street of downtown with their axes on their shoulders. It was amazing.
That is what the Fourth of July is for. It's when we all come together to celebrate what it means to be an American. There may be numerous religions and political agendas paraded too, but the ones that always get me, and everyone else, are the local heroes that we can all get behind and just feel like plain old Americans.... not Catholic or Jewish or gay or straight or Libertarian or Republican, but just members of the United States, the State of Arizona, and the City of Flagstaff.