I remember where I was on July 4, 1976. It was the Bicentennial and I was in Glens Falls, New York, otherwise known as “Hometown U.S.A.”
The United States was celebrating the anniversary of a birth of a nation and 200 years of independence. I was a small child and I remember wearing my low-cut red Converse, a white, eyelet lace, off-the-shoulder crop top, and blue jean shorts. The town had repainted the fire hydrants to resemble past presidents and prominent historical figures, all in red, white and blue. It was festive and innocent. We were at a big parade and there were sparklers, balloons, floats, patriotically colored Rocket ice pops and fireworks. It was an idyllic childhood memory of a national holiday.
I can’t imagine the trauma, fear and confusion felt by the families and children in Highland Park, Illinois last Monday morning. Their memories of this holiday will forever be tainted by the horrific violence that was imposed upon them during what was to be a happy, innocent day, The images of strewn lawn chairs, toys and bikes abandoned on the sidewalk as everyone ran for safety was fresh in the minds of the attendees at the Democrats Abroad 4th of July picnic. Gun control was just one of the many topics that was discussed amongst the attendees.