Another Kind of 4th Of July

Back in 1976 my husband and I were lucky enough to be able to go on a trip to Scandinavia. We flew to Denmark and boarded a small ship for approximately 100 people and proceeded to travel around until we got to the famous fiords of Norway. We were in Bergen at Edvard Grieg’s home for a piano recital when it dawned on me that we really should be home in the USA celebrating, as it was July 4th 1976 – the 200th year of our country’s founding! I was feeling patriotic and a little guilty and thinking of all the flag waving that must be going on – but – as we returned to our ship from the day’s excursion we were met by a surprise – a band playing our National Anthem! Later they all came aboard with some other Norwegians for a party, and there was more band music as we departed. Later we had a special dinner and then one of the ship’s staff got up and read parts of the Declaration to us. Tho I thought I was familiar with it, I don’t think I’d ever REALLY heard it before and it was very moving to be on a small Greek ship with a Greek crew in the middle of a Norwegian fiord listening to an American speech for Independence! In retrospect it was surely the most meaningful July 4th I ever had. I was actually glad I hadn’t been home after all.

Jeanie Henry
Southbury, CT ©2012

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