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Hamburgers.  Hot dogs.  Fireworks.  Parades.  To all of us here in the US, these things symbolize the 4th of July.  The day when we adopted the Declaration of Independence and broke away from our mother – cheery old England.

Not that Mom was so bad, but it was time to go out on our own.  Start our own customs and laws.

And one of those customs includes lighting the sky with explosions of color to celebrate the birth of our country.

It was during one of these celebrations when the event I am about to explain took place.  From hereafter it shall be known as THE LANDING.

We lived across the street from a college which put on a fireworks show every year.  Now, because we did live right across the street, we would gather on the railroad tracks which ran behind our house.  From there we could see the fireworks.  Of course, we couldn't hear the patriotic music or hear any of the freedom speeches.  But it was free and we were free to drink the beverage of our choice – an ice cold beer, a glass of wine or some other alcoholic beverage which would not permitted were we to pay for front row seats.

So there we were – kids oohing and aahing at the exploding sky, dogs cowering in fear under our seats, parents talking and sipping their drinks,  when suddenly the air seemed to stand still.

Off to my right, I saw something huge.  Something that didn't belong that low in the sky.

My mind jumped to that popular expression: It's a bird.  It's a plane.  It's Superman.

Well, we all know Superman isn't real.   But was this really happening?  It WAS a plane!

At first I thought it was a huge 747 coming toward us.  As it got closer, I realized is was only a small two-seater.  But still- a plane?  Landing right in front of us!

Utter chaos ensued.  I grabbed my daughter, the dog, my drink, my husband (in that order) and amidst shouts and screams ran for cover along with everyone else.

Somehow, the pilot managed to land safely in the middle of the street.  To our utter disbelief, he climbed out dressed like Paul Revere.  And  took off running down the street yelling, "The British are coming!  The British are coming!"

Well, the only uniformed people coming down the street were the police.   They caught up with him and dragged him away.     We poured fresh cocktails and toasted everything from our Founding Fathers to Buckingham Palace.

Looney as he was, the pilot left us all unscathed and free to go about our lives, free to watch many more 4th of July firework's shows.

But, let me tell you, none of them have compared to the thrill, the fear, and the excitement of THE LANDING.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!

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