Enjoy The Moment

Junior Elena Thompson takes on Independence Day

Izak Zeller, Writer

Junior Elena Thompson and her family enjoy a festival, lay their comfy blankets on the grass, happily eat their snacks and wait for the dazzling fireworks to come. As the sounds start to boom, the sky begins to explode with color.

Thompson has always loved the Fourth of July. The celebration of the United States has always brought her great pride. Thompson and her family have many different traditions. Food, family and fireworks all make this holiday one of her favorites. 

“Fourth of July means a lot to me,” Thompson said. “It means we love our country, we fought for it and we celebrate (it). I mostly love it for the fireworks and spending time with my family at my grandparents’ farm. We eat food, run around the fields, and just spend time with each other. It never gets old, it’s like Christmas to me.”

Fireworks are a big part of Thompson’s Fourth of July. She loves to watch them with her family and friends.

“I like the little sparklers that even kids can play with,” Thompson said. “I just like watching the big ones really because they make big noises and they come out as different colors and shapes. I really love the red, blue and white colors because they really represent our country.”

Thompson and all of her family members bring a dish and they all share a big potluck on the Fourth of July each year. Her favorite dish that her grandparents make each year is called ‘Butterfinger Ice Cream’.

“We like to have a big meal where every member brings something for everyone to share,” Thompson said. “We like to lay out our blankets and chairs and watch the kids play with the colored smoke bombs. Then, we usually go home tired and fall asleep immediately.”

As long as there’s fireworks then that’s my fourth of July”

— Elena Thompson, Junior

Thompson has had many great moments during the Fourth of July. Some, however, stand out to her more than others.

“My greatest memory of fourth of July is when we went somewhere different one time,” Thompson said. “We took my cousin and we went to a specific park that was near my house and we went to a festival. We laid our blankets down, we got some snow cones and I believe we also got barbecue. We had so much fun.”

Thompson usually does the same thing every Fourth of July. However, COVID-19 forced her to step out of her comfort zone and switch things up.

“My Fourth of July traditions haven’t changed a lot, but due to COVID-19 last year, I haven’t gone anywhere which is really sad,” Thompson said. “As long as there’s fireworks then that’s my fourth of July.”

Thompson has learned valuable lessons from the Fourth of July. She knows she can count on her family and friends to be there for every new experience. 

“Just enjoy the moment,” Thompson said. “Just know that you’re not alone because you know that you’ll always have friends and family there.”