In 1776, shortly after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail about the momentous occasion:
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 Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
Being married to the Symphony, I tend to see the local fireworks over the tops of buildings as a number of us labor away after the concert to strike the stage. It is fun but it is not the same as sitting out on the road or in the flat practice fields, staring up at the sky.
Never mind. This year I have fireworks close at hand, in the vegetable garden that never became a vegetable garden. They do not pop and boom, but they do hum with bees. And in their colors are the colors that will light the night tomorrow evening.
"Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."