Your arrival at DL/LL Media HQ begins as it did for Memorial Day with your getting checked in, receiving your wrist band, luggage routing tags and assigned to buses.This however today is being accomplished with a great sense of urgency and some of you are felling rushed, unless you’re a Patron Reader, in which case you simply leave your luggage with a CyberLethal and enter the stretch limo to be whisked off to the Parade/Campground area.
When you arrive at the Parade/Campground you are greeted by Lethal who begin by apologizing for the rushed sign in.
“I am sorry but ’twas necessary as some of you like to arrive extremely fashionably late (Hey! You bloody grumblers, don’t make me call you out by name and mention how a few of you are so late as to be behind in your reading by several issues!). We’ve got hot food hot beverage, soon to be very hot weather plus a fly over by Impish towing some patriotic banner that he towed over several local tow parades this morning so we…”
Suddenly Lethal stops mid sentence and holds a single finger in a just a second gesture.
“Go for Lethal Control”
He listens intently for several seconds before sighing then saying, “Patch him through on my PDA please”. He removes the device from his vest then makes several swipe and tap gestures on it. Suddenly, you can hear a some what garbled Impish speaking.
“… jumped me coming out of Saurionshire. Managed to evade but now fouled in banner. Vision extremely limited, wing movement impeded, landing gear tangled in banner cannot deploy, tail steering affected…crackle”
“Dragon One from Shamrock Actual, are you declaring an emergency?”
“I…ah…that is I was canceling the flyby. I think I might be able to make a semi-successful landing or at least not crash to much more badly than most of my landings.”
“Break Comms! Control to Lethal: We have Dragon One visually 20 miles out flying an erratic course and trailing smoke…we think the banner might be on fire.”
“Understood Control. Roll Crash crew to the Campground Pond area now. Break. Dragon One did you copy that?
Lethal momentarily direct his attention back to you all standing there listening to what is transpiring and peering into the skies somewhat nervously.
Ladies and Gentleman, at this time for your own safety I’d ask you seek shelter on the other side of your buses for the moment until after Impish is down. I appreciate your co-operation and apologize for the inconvenience and the delay. We should have the situ…”
“Dragon One here. Uh yeah…was wondering why I was getting a bit warm back there. Them miserable witches must have fire balled me after they got me tangled up in this banner.”
“Dragon One to be clear, you are flying on Instrument Flight Rules only, with near zero pilot visibility, limited flight controls and possibly have an onboard fire condition culminating in a high possibility of an uncontrolled crash landing, am I correct?
“Dragon One to Shamrock Actual: Well since you’re going to put it like that…Break!
This is Dragon One to Control: I am declaring an Inflight Emergency subject to previous described situation. I am unsure of my exact position with regard to Dragon HQ. Request straight as possible approach and to be talked down.”
“Control from Shamrock Actual: Give him steering cues for a west to east approach of the Campground. Try to line him up for legs up belly slide into the retention pond.”
“Control copies Shamrock One. Break. Dragon One: You should be receiving steering cues for emergency landing sight now.”
“Roger I feel them. How far out an I?”
“Control to Dragon One we show you 15 miles out. Suggest you begin to reduce your altitude and slow your speed.”
“Negative on slowing down Control. Going to have to come in hot. I cannot unfurl wings far enough to generate extra lift needed for slow flight.”
“Shamrock Actual to Crash Crew: Give me a 1/4 mile foam approach to pond and raise the nets. Break. Impish, I’m going to guide you in from 5 miles out. I’m not going to lie to you, this is going to be ugly and you’ll hurt in the morning, but I promise you’ll be in more or less one piece.”
“Uh…I’m not sure I like the sounds of that Lethal, especially the more or less part. Don’t you have any other options?”
“Sure. I can steer you right into a mountain or that stand of giant Iron wood trees we found if you prefer.”
“Aww what the heck, I was going to need a bath before I could join the party anyways. I’ll trust you.
“Ok Impish I can see you now. Your sliding right, come back left. More. More. Ok hold that line. Now see if you can drop a little to just above the tree tops, don’t worry if you pick up a little speed, I think I know how to bleed some off.
Wait for it..wait for it…ok now belly brush those tree tops in front of you that should bleed off some speed”
Impish can be heard grunting, oafing, groaning and cursing over the open mic.
“OK nice job. That helped even more than I expected it too. Now just continue to descend- your about 30 seconds from landing. When I tell you to I want you to flare out I know you cant flare your wings so I want you to use them as speed brakes of a sort- wing tips in tight, elbows out and up high. Keep you head way up too as you’ll need as much drag as you can get. Clear?”
“Impish copies all. Please tell me your not taping this for Youtube!”
“I’m not personally, but I’d bet about one hundred of the readers are… OK NOW! FLARE AND RAISE SPEED BRAKES!”
Those of you tall enough and brave enough to peer out from behind the buses see a Red White and Blue wrapped dragon hit a giant foamy slip and slide belly first and quickly disappear from view. Several loud ‘twangs!’ are heard as the anchor points to the landing safety nets let go. This is followed a scant second later by a loud splash and a fifty foot high gout of water going up into the air and returning to the pond. Moment later a voice you assume to be the On Scene Commander of the Crash Crew comes over the radio yelling.
“GO! GO! GO! Find the ends of the net hook them to the trucks we’ll use it to tow him out of the pond!
Crash Command to Shamrock Actual: we have him sir. Fire is out. He’s thrashing about quite a bit but we should have him out of the water and cut free of all the entanglements by the end of the issue though slightly worse for the wear.”
“Roger Crash Command good job. Break. Control from Shamrock Actual: Dragon One has landed. Inflight Emergency is hereby canceled. Resume normal Ops.
“Ladies and Gentleman I do apologize on behalf of Impish and myself for the excitement and delay. I suggest without further ado we make haste to the brunch buffet and the issue if that alright with you all.”
Ladies & Gentleman I would ask that you join Impish and I in standing for our Nation Anthem at this time.
United States National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner)(by The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps)
Bet ‘cher ass it still does and long may it continue to do so!
God, Country, Corps- the only 3 things in life that come before my coffee. Family better have the good sense to wait until I’ve had at least half of my first cup before coming at me!
Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain rule. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.
Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.
Coincidentally, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third President in a row who died on the holiday. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only U.S. President to have been born on Independence Day.
Van T. Barfoot, Va. Medal of Honor recipient who won fight to fly flag in front yard, dies at 92
Now some of you might be saying this is the wrong holiday to be remembering or honoring this Vet. You’d be wrong, but only because you jumped to the assumption we were honoring the man for his service and mourning his passing. Don’t get me wrong we are of course doing that as well and certainly he is deserving of it.
What makes honoring him on Independence Day is his devotion to probably the most iconic symbol of our hard won America Freedoms as well as to his right to display it. I’m speaking of course of Old Glory, The Stars and Bars, the Stars and Stripes, the American Flag.
His passing was just recently called to my attention by reader and kibitzer Paul K-9 who sent me the unattributed email that follows. The email ceases before the Washington Post Obit.
Remember the guy who wouldn’t take the flag pole down on his Virginia property a while back? You might remember the news story several months ago about a crotchety old man in Virginia who defied his local Homeowners Association, and refused to take down the flag pole on his property along with the large American flag he flew on it. Now we learn who that old man was. On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg , Miss . That probably didn’t make news back then.
But twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano, Italy, that same Van T. Barfoot, who had in 1940 enlisted in the U.S. Army, set out alone to flank German machine gun positions from which gunfire was raining down on his fellow soldiers. His advance took him through a minefield but having done so, he proceeded to single-handedly take out three enemy machine gun positions, returning with 17 prisoners of war.
And if that weren’t enough for a day’s work, he later took on and destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.
That probably didn’t make much news either, given the scope of the war, but it did earn
Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a Colonel after also serving in Korea and Vietnam , a well
deserved Medal of Honor.
What did make news… Was his Neighborhood Association’s quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home. Seems the HOA rules said it was OK to fly a flag on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Barefoot ‘s 21-foot flagpole was “unsuitable”.
Van Barefoot had been denied a permit for the pole, but erected it anyway and was facing
court action unless he agreed to take it down.
Then the HOA story made national TV, and the Neighborhood Association rethought
its position and agreed to indulge this aging hero who dwelt among them.
“In the time I have left”, he said to the Associated Press, “I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference.”
As well he should.
And if any of his neighbors had taken a notion to contest him further, they might have done well to read his Medal of Honor citation first. (see below) Seems it indicates Mr. Van Barfoot wasn’t particularly good at backing down.
From his Washington Post Obituary:
Retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, who received the Medal of Honor during World War II and decades later drew national attention when he fought successfully against his homeowners association to keep a flagpole flying the Stars and Stripes in his front yard, died March 2 at a hospital in Richmond. He was 92.
He had complications from a fall, said his daughter Margaret Nicholls.
Col. Barfoot grew up on a Mississippi cotton plantation before enlisting in the Army infantry in 1940. By the end of his career in 1974, he had served in three wars and received the military’s highest award for valor — the Medal of Honor — for leading an assault on German troops during World War II.
n retirement, he lived a quiet life in rural central Virginia — tending to his vegetable garden, filling his bird feeders and catching catfish in his private pond — before moving to the Richmond suburbs in the summer of 2009.
Col. Barfoot erected a 21-foot flagpole in his front yard not long after taking up residence in the Sussex Square development in Henrico County.
Even as a nonagenarian, Col. Barfoot awoke every morning to hoist the American flag. At dusk, he lowered and folded the flag, hugging the triangular bundle to his chest as he walked back inside.
The community, governed by a homeowners association, had denied Col. Barfoot’s initial request to put the flagpole in his yard, citing rules to maintain curb appeal.
The homeowners association sent him a letter ordering him to remove the flagpole and threatened to take Col. Barfoot to court to enforce the neighborhood’s rules.
Col. Barfoot refused, and the resulting news brought support from Democrats and Republicans in the state and beyond.
From the White House, Obama administration spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters: “The president believes — I think all of us believe — that the very least we can do is show our gratitude and thanks to somebody that served our country so admirably.”
Pressured by critics, the homeowners association relented in December 2009 and allowed Col. Barfoot to keep his flagpole.
According to his Medal of Honor citation:
On May 23, 1944, Col. Barfoot was ordered to lead an assault on German positions. He went out alone and crawled to within feet of a German bunker.
He tossed a grenade inside, killing two Germans and wounding three others. He then moved to another bunker nearby and killed two more German soldiers with his submachine gun while taking three others prisoner. A third machine gun crew, watching Col. Barfoot’s methodical assault, surrendered to him. In all, 17 Germans gave themselves up to Col. Barfoot.
In retaliation, the Germans organized a counterattack on Col. Barfoot’s position, sending three tanks toward him.
Col. Barfoot grabbed a bazooka grenade launcher and stood 75 yards in front of the leading tank. His first shot stopped it in its tracks. He then killed three of the German tank crew members who had attempted to escape.
The other two tanks, witnessing the destruction, abruptly changed directions, moving away from Col. Barfoot. Returning to his platoon, he helped carry two wounded U.S. soldiers almost a mile to safety.
Commending his “Herculean efforts,” Col. Barfoot’s citation praised his “magnificent valor and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire.”
Col. Barfoot served in the Korean War and later in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. His other military decorations included the Silver Star; two awards of the Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star; three awards of the Purple Heart; and 11 awards of the Air Medal.
In 2010, Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) signed legislation inspired by Col. Barfoot that prohibited homeowners associations from barring the proper display of the U.S. flag.
Ladies and Gentleman I ask that you join me in honoring this man, his beliefs in the principles our Founding Fathers based this Country on and honor with this holiday as well as his great love of an for our country by joining Impish and I in the Pledge of Allegiance. Somehow I feel it’s a sure bet though never mentioned Col. Barfoot recited it too everyday.
US pledge of allegiance (Lee Greenwood )
That’s it! Teach them right while they’re young. Before those liberal brainwashing teachers start trying to fill them with anti American socialistic touchy feely crap!
The Execution of Nathan Hale, 1776
Nathan Hale was a lieutenant in the Continental Army. In his early twenties, Hale had worked as a schoolteacher before the Revolution. In late September 1776 he volunteered to cross the British lines and travel to Long Island in order to gather intelligence. Unfortunately, his mission was soon discovered and he was captured by the British. Taken to General Howe’s headquarters (commander of the British forces) in New York, the young spy was interrogated and executed on September 22.
Word of the execution was brought to General Washington’s headquarters shortly after by a British officer carrying a flag of truce. Captain William Hull of the Continental Army was present and recalled the event:
“In a few days an officer came to our camp, under a flag of truce, and informed Hamilton, then a captain of artillery, but afterwards the aid of General Washington, that Captain Hale had been arrested within the British lines condemned as a spy, and executed that morning.
I learned the melancholy particulars from this officer, who was present at his execution and seemed touched by the circumstances attending it.
He said that Captain Hale had passed through their army, both of Long Island and York Island. That he had procured sketches of the fortifications, and made memoranda of their number and different positions. When apprehended, he was taken before Sir William Howe, and these papers, found concealed about his person, betrayed his intentions. He at once declared his name, rank in the American army, and his object in coming within the British lines.
Sir William Howe, without the form of a trial, gave orders for his execution the following morning. He was placed in the custody of the Provost Marshal, who was a refugee and hardened to human suffering and every softening sentiment of the heart. Captain Hale, alone, without sympathy or support, save that from above, on the near approach of death asked for a clergyman to attend him. It was refused. He then requested a Bible; that too was refused by his inhuman jailer.
‘On the morning of his execution,’ continued the officer, ‘my station was near the fatal spot, and I requested the Provost Marshal to permit the prisoner to sit in my marquee, while he was making the necessary preparations. Captain Hale entered: he was calm, and bore himself with gentle dignity, in the consciousness of rectitude and high intentions. He asked for writing materials, which I furnished him: he wrote two letters, one to his mother and one to a brother officer.’ He was shortly after summoned to the gallows. But a few persons were around him, yet his, characteristic dying words were remembered. He said, ‘I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.'”
Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions (like the postal service and federal courts) are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation’s heritage, laws, history, society, and people.
Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue and take advantage of the day off and, in some years, long weekend to gather with relatives. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades are often in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.
The night before the Fourth was once the focal point of celebrations, marked by raucous gatherings often incorporating bonfires as their centerpiece. In New England, towns competed to build towering pyramids, assembled from barrels and casks. They were lit at nightfall, to usher in the celebration. The highest were in Salem, Massachusetts (on Gallows Hill, the famous site of the execution of 13 women and 6 men for witchcraft in 1692 during the Salem witch trials, where the tradition of bonfires in celebration had persisted), composed of as many as forty tiers of barrels; these are the tallest bonfires ever recorded. The custom flourished in the 19th and 20th centuries, and is still practiced in some New England towns.
4th of July Cartoon Lesson – Home School House Rock – Fireworks
Some of you didn’t heed my warning about the hot temps and strong sun that might have gotten lost during the unscheduled events of my opening comments. I again admonish you to apply lots of sun screen to those parts of you that normally don’t get to see the sun. I understand that for some of you that means your entire bodies but it can’t be helped. We’ve already had one unfortunate incident today (no not Impish’s crash, see below) and we’d like to avoid anymore this weekend so do your part won’t you?
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall), the bell today is located in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. The bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack (today the Whitechapel Bell Foundry) in 1752, and was cast with the lettering “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” a Biblical reference from the Book of Leviticus (25:10). The bell first cracked when rung after its arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen John Pass and John Stow, whose last names appear on the bell. In its early years, the Liberty Bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations.
No immediate announcement was made of the Second Continental Congress’s vote for independence, and thus the bell could not have rung on July 4, 1776, at least not for any reason related to that vote. Bells were rung to mark the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, and while there is no contemporary account of the Liberty Bell ringing, most historians believe it was one of the bells rung. After American independence was secured, it fell into relative obscurity for some years. In the 1830s, the bell was adopted as a symbol by abolitionist societies, who dubbed it the “Liberty Bell.”
The bell acquired its distinctive large crack sometime in the early 19th century—a widespread story claims it cracked while ringing after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835. The bell became famous after an 1847 short story claimed that an aged bell-ringer rang it on July 4, 1776, upon hearing of the Second Continental Congress’s vote for independence. Despite the fact that the bell did not ring for independence on that July 4, the tale was widely accepted as fact, even by some historians. Beginning in 1885, the City of Philadelphia, which owns the bell, allowed it to go to various expositions and patriotic gatherings. The bell attracted huge crowds wherever it went, additional cracking occurred and pieces were chipped away by souvenir hunters. The last such journey occurred in 1915, after which the city refused further requests.
After World War II, the city allowed the National Park Service to take custody of the bell, while retaining ownership. The bell was used as a symbol of freedom during the Cold War and was a popular site for protests in the 1960s. It was moved from its longtime home in Independence Hall to a nearby glass pavilion on Independence Mall in 1976, and then to the larger Liberty Bell Center adjacent to the pavilion in 2003. The bell has been featured on coins and stamps, and its name and image have been widely used by corporations.
SOUSA The Stars and Stripes Forever – “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band
NO! It’s NOT time for the fireworks yet! Geeze! Ok! OK! I’ll start tossing a few fireworks pictures in just to help with your jonesing symptoms, ok?
Food, Family, Fourth of July, and Fireworks. The four best F words ever!
While your kicking back as George suggests and perusing a little grilled happiness here is something sure to aid in that pursuit and wet your whistle at the same time.
– 1.5 OZ Spiced Rum
– 0.5 OZ Sour Mix
– 2 OZ Peach Juice
– 1 OZ Club Soda
Mix everything and serve with ice.
If you cannot locate peach juice simply use peach nectar and increase the amount of club soda to 2 OZ. You might want to consider making an entire pitcher of these because they go down easy and fast.
The bucket? That’s Impish’s idea of one small drink. He’ll do it like a shooter.
Yankee Doodle: Music of the American Revolution
A Star-Spangled Birthday Party — Live From the U.S. Capitol!
On July Fourth, America’s national Independence Day celebration honors our country’s birthday with an all-star salute. Broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, this top-rated extravaganza features coverage from 20 cameras positioned around Washington, D.C., ensuring viewers are front and center for the greatest display of fireworks in the nation.
A Capitol Fourth welcomes back Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron to host America’s 240th Independence Day celebration. Broadcast live at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT on PBS. Click the link below to read about the star studded line up for the program.
My Country Tis of Thee by David Crosby and Graham Nash
Paul Revere’s Ride- Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”
Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the somber rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and somber and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
This is from South Padre Island here in Texas last year on the 4th. They do a heck of a bang up display over the water on bay side of the island every year.
Keb’ Mo’ – “America the Beautiful”
Wouldn’t be an Independence Day celebration without the Navy’s Blue Angels or Air Force Thunderbirds doing an air show. Here showing Impish how a pilot worth his wings is supposed to fly are the Air Force Thunderbirds.
Just to keep things even, here is one heck of a patriotic Navy Seahawk Helicopter.
We’ve a double feature on the fireworks for you today, all told probably close to an hours worth of the best from last year from an across the Nation search.
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular 2015 NBC
As the fire works end a message scrolls along the bottom of all the monitors tuned the the DDL/LL Digital Media feed. It seems a brief intermission is required to sync up with the next pyrotechnic extravaganza and asking you all stay tuned for the COD’s (Chief Operating Dragon’s) customary holiday remarks.
Moments later, the picture switches to a podium in one of the more formal areas of the party facility. Impish is caught mid limp heading for the podium looking like a combination of the worst aspects of all there figures in the famous ‘Spirit of ‘76’ painting.
Despite his best intention, the garishly loud Hawaiian shirt does little to hide the extreme redness of his chest and lower neck which appear to be the color of either a serious sunburn or the mother of all belly flops.
The giant woven straw hat that would appear more at home on Conchita, who is Jaun Valdez’s burro cannot hide the number band aids, mercurochrome stains and rapidly darkening bruises in a myriad of colors that all combine to render his face a 3-D impression of a Jackson Pollock painting.
Despite all this, Impish sucks it up and stands tall at the podium proudly. He’s about to start his remarks when suddenly a group of patrons in a tight bunch force there way down front. This being totally out of line for our wonderful patron readers Impish waits to see what it is they are so bent on calling his attention to. Upon arrival at the front of the room the bunch opens like clam shell to reveal 3 women clad as witches carrying inverted brooms in their left hands.
A very loud “EEP!” is heard squeak out of Impish followed by a some what more strangled cry for “Security!” as the 3 reach into their robes drawing wands, the tips of which begin to glow as they are flourished about. Suddenly the butt ends of 3 brooms hit the floor 3 times in perfect synchronization. Impish, moaning half as much in pain as in fear, dives for the floor behind the podium. Together in loud clear voices the 3 “witches” can be heard to intonate “Hocus-Pocus-JOKUS! You just got punked Impish!” this is followed by some insane female giggle cackling as the witches try to make a hasty exit but are delayed by a throng of congratulators.
Impish only his head peering over the podium is anything but amused as he recognizes his three tormentors. “I’ll get you Molly McGee, Izzy Dragon and you too Mrs. Dragon, just wait until I get my hands on you I’m going to make you…”
Mrs. Dragon suddenly spins on her heels and starts stalking back towards the podium the broom now slapping ominously against the open palm of her hand. She stops half way back and raises one of her eyebrows as if waiting for Impish to finish his sentence.
“ah..err…all a wonderful dinner you’ll never forget?” he finishes lamely. Mrs. Dragon continues her glare a moment then slowly smiles, nods then turn to hurry to catch up with her departing cohorts.
Impish, his nerves now totally shot motions to someone off stage. Whomever seems to be reluctant to comply with Impish’s request as he repeats the gesture several times, each more emphatically than the last. Finally the last time he raises his voice enough so the mic on the podium catch a part of the comment he directs at the person off stage. “ … yourself fire roasted then peeled so help me…”. Suddenly a CyberLethal appears pushing a small beverage cart laden with several kid’s plastic sand buckets. The sounds of ice and sloshing beverage can clearly be heard.
Swiftly Impish grabs one and does it like a shooter. The second one take about 15 seconds going down. As the CyberLethal makes to withdraw Impish hurriedly grabs another bucket and says to the CyberLethal, “Be sure that chickens shit refills those empties and replaces this bucket. I’ll need this one here as Lethal is right, talking is thirsty work and these Peachcombers do go down real easy.”
Impish reaches into his shirt for an extra large crazy straw placing it in the bucket which he carefully sets down on the podium before looking up at you all and the cameras.
My Thoughts Independence Day by Impish Dragon.
In the late 1700’s, the men and women of the American Colonies figured out that their rulers didn’t have their best interest at heart. They realized that with them being so far away, they were basically a commodity and not human beings who could be loyal members of a great and thriving country. They were treated as if their opinions didn’t matter, that they had no rights, and that they should just shut up and color.
Sadly, the same thing is happening to us today. But, it is our own elected rulers who are treating us like things. Treating us as if we don’t matter. You know all of us animals in the barnyard are equal. It’s just some of us are more equal than others and some of us aren’t good enough to be “in the house” animals. (With my apologies to George Orwell).
The 4th of July – Independence Day – celebrated across the country with American Flags; red, white and blue everywhere; fireworks; picnics and many other traditions that we so strongly hold on to. But, have you ever thought what the holiday REALLY stands for?
Have you ever thought of the real sacrifices that our Founding Fathers gave so that we might, to this day, have the ideals and freedoms that we are slowly losing and giving away?
Have you ever thought of what it must’ve been like for them? Giving their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor?
I’m reminded of an essay by Sarah Rumpf from July 4, 2012 that I’d like to quote here:
Two hundred and thirty six years ago, a brave group of patriots signed their names to a document that would change the course of human history.
These fifty-six men publicly declared their commitment to the “self-evident truths” that formed the foundation of our nation and which have continued to serve as a beacon of hope for all people around the world who have ever yearned to be free.
The final sentence of the Declaration of Independence is a promise among the signers, to “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor,” and many of them and their fellow patriots did in fact sacrifice their lives and fortunes in service to our country. No loss of life or money could ever diminish the honor of these heroes, and it is that honor that we celebrate today.
Over two centuries ago, fifty-six men put their lives on the line to preserve and protect the freedoms that are the God-given unalienable rights of all free people.
Today, as I think back about the incredible amount of courage it must have taken to publicly sign their names to this document, I cannot help but think that the best way to honor this courage is for each of us to consider making a similar personal pledge to our fellow Americans.
This is not a year to sit on the sidelines, not a year to watch from the bench. “The most important election of our lifetimes” may start to sound like a cliché but it increasingly seems to be true.
What can you do that will help ensure that these freedoms continue to be part of the American legacy? Can you volunteer a Saturday afternoon to knock on doors for a candidate? Can you take an evening to attend a candidates’ debate so you can be certain you are an informed voter? Can you help register new voters in your county? Can you write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper? Can you donate $5, $10, or $20 to candidates who you support?
I think we can do all these things, and more. No, let me say it this way: I think we must do these things. I hope you agree.
May God continue to bless our great nation, and to bless you and your families as well. A very Happy Independence Day to all of you.
After a momentary pause to suck down half of his remaining bucket of Peachcombers he continues briefly with his words being slightly slurred-
And now back to the
hedonism and debauchery err… that is frolic and revelry! Bring on the fireworks round 2!
Walt Disney World 4th of July Fireworks 2015