Ma­jorettes march in a Fourth of July Free­dom Fes­ti­val Pa­rade—a tra­di­tion in Lin­ton, IN—in the 1950s.

Reminisce - - Contents - BY LINDA ABBY FEIN • PHILADEL­PHIA, PA

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.

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