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Heavenly fireworks awe on Fourth

The cool beach breeze brought the sound of the surf closer to our ears as we pulled the lawn chairs out of the trunk. One by one, our family and friends made their way under the bridge to await the awesome fireworks show that was planned for later that evening.

"Each year they try to outdo themselves on the fireworks," my aunt said as she settled her chair deeper into the sand.

This year, we had decided to spend the Fourth of July in Orange Beach. As the cars piled deeper and deeper onto the narrow road leading toward the public beach, it appeared that we were not the only ones with who had decided to brave the elements on the chance that we might see a wonderful show. The weather reports throughout the day had stated heavy thunderstorms were likely in the early to late evening, and they were holding true.

We hadn't been at the beach very long when the rain began to fall and the sound of thunder echoed under the bridge. Lightning lit the sky.

Little did we know that before Independence Day show was to begin, God had scheduled His own fireworks show.

Claps of thunder boomed their way to the ground. Streaks of light tinted with reds and blues stretched their tentacles across the black expanse of the night sky.

Again and again, the phenomenon proved to us that, while we would like to think of ourselves as invincible, there are things bigger and more powerful than man. We tend to get ahead of ourselves and don' take time to see the bigger picture that lay before us.

Shortly before the 9 p.m. hour, then thunder and lightning, and, incredibly, the rain began to lighten up until the only sign that could be seen by human eyes that a shower had passed was the dark stain on the concrete piling.

Not long after the incredible show of weather lit the sky, Independence Day made its mark on the night sky.

Showers in all the colors of the rainbow decorated the blank backdrop of the night sky. Starbursts in red, white and blue testified to the importance of Independence day.

"Pretty," said my two-year-old daughter.

Yes, I thought. Pretty. Pretty impressive when you think about it.

This Independence Day is one that people will remember. Not a holiday that would be remembered for the great barbecue or the fireworks, but one that would be remembered for what it actually stands for. People from every walk of life, young and old, rich and poor, coming together as a country and standing united as a front against those who would try and strike at our homeland.

In infamous words - Let Freedom Ring.

Stephanie Nelson is regular columnist for the Andalusia Star-News. Her column appears in the Tuesday editions.