Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Un-bucket List # 7: Have a 4th of July in Lander, WY

If you have not had a 4th of July in Lander, Wyoming put it on your bucket list. Let me tell you: there is nothing like it.

I'm a big fan of the 4th of July. I love the patriotism, the Star Spangled Banner, Old Glory, and fireworks. I especially love fireworks. There is not a place on earth who loves their fireworks more than the town of Lander, Wyoming.

We'll start with Dr. Bills and his family who host what has to be the largest privately funded firework show pretty much anywhere. It is larger and greater and grander than most city firework shows I've seen and yet Dr. Bills does it on his own with the help of his family and volunteers. Let me tell you: it is amazing. There are Revolutionary War re-enactments, complete with red-coats, a fully scripted firework show with history, quotes from our founding fathers, and admonitions to us, as citizens, to participate in the political process. There's patriotic music, a big flaming fireball, and there are fireworks. Lots of them in every style and color. The sky is an amazing display of the love Dr. Bill has for this great nation.

Dr. Bill's firework show is usually on the 3rd of July and then on the 4th the whole city of Lander, Wyoming sounds like a war zone. Fireworks erupt everywhere all day long, but when it gets dark. . . the fun really begins. Pull up a chair and watch. It doesn't matter where. . . there are fireworks going off everywhere until well past midnight and I love every minute of it.

We only lived in Lander, Wyoming for 2 years, but I loved, loved, loved the 4th of July there. It was unlike the 4th of July anywhere else and is truly a unique experience that I feel blessed to have been able to have.

Unfortunately, this year in Lander, Wyoming will not be the same. Dr. Bills was killed tragically in a plane crash just a few months after we moved away. His family was planning their annual firework show without him. They were planning on using the same script as last year's show -- one that had his voice as the narrator. I'm sure thousands of hours had been put into preparations and then, like so many other places this hot, dry summer, a fireworks ban had been put in place in Lander, Wyoming. I'm sure the town is in mourning in more ways than one. The 4th of July will not be the same.

Still, how blessed we are to live in this nation. How I love my country, even without fireworks there is so much to celebrate.

On a side note: my hometown lost one of their own in Afghanistan yesterday. My thoughts are with the Moosman family at this time.

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