Celebrating The 4th of July Then – Now


As we celebrate the 4th of July this year,  I close my eyes and think of the parades I watched over the years that took place along Central Street in Evanston, IL. where I grew up. There were years of watching fireworks at Dyche Stadium, Northwestern University’s football field. Some years we watched the fireworks wrapped in  blankets. Annually, tennis matches were played at Ackerman Park in North Evanston, where I rode my bicycle to meet friends and watch the matches. I would like to spend this holiday doing these things again. I’d love to eat my mother’s potato salad, and spend the night in my own bed…at HOME.


This year  I hope you will join me by placing your hand over your heart, singing at the top of your lungs, God Bless America. We grieve over the celebrations that have been cancelled today because we are under threat by ISIS. This  is a far cry from the days of watermelon seed spitting contests, and the ooh’s and aah’s of a night sky filled with red, white, and blue.


We honor the fallen, and praise those who are willing to give their lives to protect us on this day. Political correctness keeps trying to take so many things from us, but we remain thankful for our history, for the framers of our constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. Let’s reimagine the heart of America today, indivisible, under God, where we are unafraid to be proud, to love our country without apology, and with all our hearts.33e764a46c54a6e48203d1f10ae81d7cI am going to remember the children throughout the years who have decorated their bikes in red, white and blue crape paper to ride down Main Street, USA, celebrating the 4th of July.   (The photographs I have used here are from my Pinterest boards which you can visit)

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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5 Responses to Celebrating The 4th of July Then – Now

  1. dino0726 says:

    If it’s for our safety, I guess it’s better to cancel events, but that is indeed very sad. I hope everyone has a wonderful, happy and safe 4th!! 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Loved those Evanston parades – they went down Central so we only had to walk a block to see them. I especially liked the lawnmower formations!

  3. When I was a child growing up, we’d all gather at a relatives house for the Fourth. We’d play with sparklers, roman candles and firecrackers. Usually have the first watermelon of the year and homemade ice cream. Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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