STEPS IN TIME
Majorettes march in a Fourth of July Freedom Festival Parade—a tradition in Linton, IN—in the 1950s.
Despite seeing only the tops of tubas, flagpoles, tricorn hats and President Gerald Ford’s head, I have the best red, white and blue memories of being in the very place where the first Fourth of July happened 200 years earlier.
As a native Philadelphian and a newly minted member of Friends of Independence National Historical Park, the first chartered Friends group in the National Park Service, I was eager to staff the table across the street from Independence Square, where I promoted Friends membership and activities. However, at 5 feet 1 inch, I had a hard time seeing over the taller members of the crowd.
But what a sight to see and feel. President Ford’s speech was deliberate but moving.
The music stirred and flags inspired as the fivehour parade streamed by and floats from every state captured our imaginations. Most of all, the feeling of pride in our country was palpable.
It was an honor to be there and feel the patriotism that our country’s founders, both men and women, had inspired in 1776.