Growing up, we were always trying trick each other by asking if there was the “4th of July” in Spain or China or Mexico since it was a holiday to celebrate American independence. I laugh now looking back as I spend my second 4th of July in Mexico. The 4th of July does indeed happen in Mexico—it doesn’t just skip from the 3rd to the 5th. 😉 However, in Mexico stores close just because they want to on the 4th, not because the date bears any real significance. Nevertheless, we made jokes about the signs posted in the windows that read “cerrado.”
I joined Dennis and Debbie Hollenbeck and their two interns for a day of activities. Although the morning was still culturally Mexican as we walked around Los Globos, essentially a giant garage sale, and ate enchiladas for lunch, we couldn’t help but reminisce on past fourths—fireworks, neighborhood grillouts, police encounters for some, beaches, swimming, and red white and blue. Though in Mexico, we still took time to remember our home and past.
I thought back to the years we joined all the neighbors at the pool for a big get together with games and food. Sitting on a picnic blanket by the river watching the fireworks. Our family going to Pangburn, Arkansas. Shooting off fireworks with my dad and brother and friends. And OGN—sharing the gospel on the beaches of San Diego, CA followed by worship and fellowship. The memories I have from the Fourth of Julys of past are simple but dear and awaken the American in me.
We went on to celebrate like most other Americans with hot dogs, ice cream, and watermelon for dinner, though with the twist on it that the hot dogs came from a Mexican hot dog stand (delicious) and the ice cream from the Michoacana (mmmmm). On the way home the national anthem played over the radio followed by parts of traditionally “patriotic” songs—God Bless America, the Marine Core theme song, It’s a beautiful world.
I love these things about America.