Author Casey Curry Muses on the Hope of July 4
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved Independence Day. As a little girl growing up in Washington, D.C., the 4th of July meant backyard barbeques, fireworks and cousins. I have too many fond memories laced with grilled burgers and fries and jumping rope and riding bikes until darkness arrived. Then it was all about the fireworks. My dad would line us all up far away from the actual action and light up the sky for us. It was magical for me. It was a time of a child’s personal freedoms. This was small scale freedom, but freedom none-the-less. As a teenager, the 4th of July meant piling into cars or taking the metro to watch the fireworks at the National Monument. Then it was all about the red, white and blue fashions and looking cute in your white hot pants. Seeing and being seen was the name of the game because the world was new and pregnant with possibilities.
While I was in college, hostages were taken and POWs were returned. American freedoms and independence on a national and even global scale became crystal clear to me. I married a naval officer and my whole word revolved around the sacrifices made for our collective freedoms and the freedoms of the oppressed all over the world. I didn’t always agree with why we fought and who we fought but I always stood united with our country as a patriot. I remember too many times singing along with Lee Greenwood, loudly and out of tune, at some public park or event. I was then and I remain, “Proud to be an American…” It might be corny, but the song still tears me up a bit.
So I always decorate the front of my houses and moving thirteen times in thirty-one years of marriage, there have been many porches, stoops and flower pots and beds to adorn. I love the regalia, the bunting, the flags and the colors. When the kids were growing up, we made homemade ice cream every 4th of July. There was always a red, white and blue dessert too. Sometimes there was a fancy trifle with layers of blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream. Other years brought berry cobblers or cakes. Whether it was a group of military families creating family away from our blood relatives, or just me and the girls because dad was out to sea – we celebrated, understanding that freedom isn’t free.
Casey Curry is the author of I Remember You Today an interactive grief book for children and the soon-to-be released Promises, a novel. She is the wife of a retired Naval Officer and the mother of four daughters. Casey is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and is an advocate for military families. Her hospitality is known in at least 13 cities including her current hometown of Brandon, Florida.