It’s no secret that here in Boston we like to do it up big on the Fourth of July. For decades, the Boston Pops has performed at the Hatch Shell along the Esplanade and, after the concert, a spectacular fireworks display rains down over the Charles River. My neighbors and I may curse our lack of closet space 364 days of the year, but on the Fourth of July, we have the best place on earth to watch the fireworks: our roof deck.
Last week, as neighbors and friends gathered with beach chairs and blankets, food and drink, I was struck by what a diverse group had assembled on our roof deck for the day’s festivities. One young mother was nursing her nine-week old baby, while the oldest, a vivacious lady in her seventies, sported an American flag motif scarf. There were straight couples and gay couples. And folks whose ancestry represented each of the seven continents. There were Boston Brahmins, first-generation Americans, and at least one New Yorker. All afternoon and into the evening, the sense of community prevailed as we waited in anticipation for the fireworks to start.
On the day we celebrated the red, white, and blue, there was no red state/blue state divide. No political talk at all. Do we all agree on everything? No way. But for one glorious, sparkling day we had come together with respect, pride, and patriotism. All of us different, yet all the same – Americans.