Today’s holiday is the perfect opportunity to help your entire family feel connected to the history of your home.
If cookouts, fireworks, and parades are on your agenda today for the Fourth of July, you’re in good company with most Americans.
But this year, my family found an unusual way to celebrate the Fourth. And you might like to try it yourself later this summer, or next year.
We were inspired by what’s at the heart of today’s holiday, which is honoring our country’s history.
While we don’t glorify our history, we remember where we came from as a people and try to notice the important lessons we can learn from the past.
So learning more about our history became our focus for celebrating the Fourth of July.
We decided to dive deep into the history of our local region, so we’re planning a family road trip to visit our state capitol and some significant historical sites and museums.
Now, yes, this trip was inspired by my husband’s and my great passion for history. But there’s something to be said for connecting with the history of your region, even if you’re not the world’s biggest history buff.
Learning about the history of our home area helps us understand how to live well in the particular place on earth where we find ourselves. It also helps us feel appreciative of the place where we live, and grateful for all that we have now.
Since I live in Illinois, our trip will include sites related to Abraham Lincoln (or “Abraham Linkum” as my toddler says) and the Mississipian American Indians who once lived here. But you can find a similar history connection wherever you are in the USA.
Maybe you’re near the sites of the Revolutionary War itself, or you can visit a Civil War battlefield, a Spanish-American mission, or any other local history museum.
Or you can keep things super low-key and simply check out a picture book from your library about the history of your state. I bet there are plenty available, and this is one way to connect with history without even leaving home.
Wherever you go, the occasion of today’s holiday is the perfect opportunity to help your kids (and yourself!) feel connected to the history of your home.
And if you ask me, that’s even more interesting than a parade.