Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Boston Fourth

Boston is where the revolution all began and so what better place to celebrate our nation's freedom than here. They have a full week of special events called "Boston Harborfest". Some of these include a Chowda Fest where for a fee you can sample- and vote- and eat as much as you want of some of the best clam chowder in the city. A few years ago, I went on a special tour of Old North Church where I was able to go into the upper levels where the lantern was hung that sent Paul Revere on his famous ride.

On the evening of July 3rd, I would head out to the Esplanade at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River to hear the Boston Pops perform their rehersal concert for the 4th. They would practice the whole program minus the fireworks. They had some unique performers over the years such as David Lee Roth (Jump!) and Rockapella and as always, Keith Lockhart conducting the Boston Pops. A few of the highlights of this concert is the patriotic sing along (I always sing my heart out) and the 1812 Overture complete with cannons.
They also hand out flags and programs and CONFETTI.
Then, on the morning of the 4th, I head down to Government Center to City Hall Plaza for the parade. Everyone is dressed up in authentic period costumes and they have fife and drums.
The parade marches along the Freedom Trail where they lay wreaths on the graves of the victims of the Boston Massacre and then they head back to the Old State House. I learned that it is better to just watch the parade and then head immediately to the Old State House to get a great spot for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence. The same man who is like 91 sings the National Anthem every year and he is just incredible- it is so moving. Then, they read the complete declaration- this year, I even received a free pocket copy.
Here's me with Lisa and Amy- my buddies for the festivities last year
Then, its off to the "Crade of Liberty" at Fanuiel Hall where the first meetings of the revolution are held. Every year they have a special guest perform an annual narration- the coolest was the "modern day Betsy Ross"- this man who designed our current 50 star flag design and submitted it as part of a class in high school and he got a B for it. His teacher told him that if he was able to get it accepted by the President of the United States that his grade would be raised to an A. Several years later, this man went back with a letter from the President and had his grade changed. It just goes to show that you should believe in yourself and the works that you do. Here he is with the flag (sorry its kind of dark- we were inside and I didn't want to flash him)
After this narration, I would head out near the aquarium to see from a distance the 21 gun salute from the U.S.S. Constitution that goes on a short trip to make it the oldest operating active ship. It is pretty far away, but I'd rather see the other events than to head down to Castle Island for just that one part.
Waiting for the salute
Then, I would hit Quincy Market where I would have my clam chowder in a bread bowl from Boston Chowda. In this interm, what I would do varies from year to year. One year I went down to the JFK Museum and Library where I LOVE this quote
last year I went out to Brewster Island to see the lighthouse.
Along with some beautiful views of Boston
But, always in the evening, I would head to the Mass Ave Bridge where I would watch the most amazing fireworks display over the Charles River. The show lasts 30 minutes long and it choreographed to music and has some of the biggest and most unique fireworks in the world. You truly feel that you are being engulfed in these fireworks.
I have never felt such a great love for my country and how blessed I am to have been born in a nation where I experience such amazing freedoms. Thanks to all of those rebels who fought so hard to give this to us!

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