On July 4, 1776, the United States Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. Every year since, Americans across the country have demonstrated their patriotism through various celebrations and traditions.
We talked to residents at Concordia of Cranberry, Concordia of Franklin Park and Concordia of Wexford about their favorite Independence Day memories and activities. Whether it be spending time with loved ones, having a festive picnic, or enjoying a firework show, every resident has his or her own special traditions. (photos below)
Maureen S.: Maureen is an ordained minister currently living at Concordia of Cranberry. She remembers her favorite Independence Day tradition in her small hometown of Solon, Ohio was laying down a picnic blanket at a nearby lake with her family and watching a fireworks show.
“If there were crooks in town, that would be the best time for them to commit their crimes since everyone else in town would be at the lake,” she said with a laugh.
Daneen S.: The Fourth of July has a special significance for Daneen. Not only is it Independence Day, but it’s also her birthday.
“Every year it feels like all the parades and fireworks are just for me,” she said.
Daneen has only been a resident at Concordia of Cranberry for a few months, but she has already made friends who she hopes to share a red, white and blue birthday cake with.
Clare P.: Clare looks forward to Independence Day every year because it is a reason for her whole family to get together.
“It’s nice to have one day with no school and no work where everyone can simply enjoy being together,” she said. “Yes, we like to make fun of each other and get on each other’s nerves, but we all end up laughing about it at the end of the day.”
Clare lives at Concordia of Cranberry and looks forward to visits from her children, who are now all grown up with kids of their own.
Kay P.: Independence Day has held a special meaning for Concordia of Cranberry resident Kay ever since her husband was in the Navy. Since he spent many Independence Days overseas, she cherishes all the years they had the opportunity to spend the day together.
“My favorite Independence Days are the ones I got to spend with my husband,” she said. “We liked to spend the day quiet and close.”
John H.: John kept very busy throughout his life, even in retirement. With the little free time he had, he liked to spend Independence Day blowing off steam with his close friends.
“We’d go out and get drunk; that simple,” he said with a wink.
John worked for General Motors as a tool and dye apprentice before he became a supervisor and later a tool stamp designer. After he retired at 55, he continued to work day and night in his workshop at home, building things out of wood and working on extravagant landscaping for his house. He had over 100 hanging plants as well as a large pond filled with fish and frogs.
Now that he lives at Concordia of Franklin Park, his son takes care of everything at his old house.
“I’m 84 years old,” he said. “Even though I can’t move around more, I accept my position. You always have to be positive.”
Loretta V.: Concordia of Franklin Park resident Loretta’s favorite memory of Independence Day is when she attended a parade in Upper St. Clair. She enjoyed watching the Girl and Boy Scouts march, the neighborhood kids decorate their bikes, and the police ride motorcycles through town.
“Being from a small coal miner’s town in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, I love when communities everywhere come together in celebration.”
Lilian & Robert S.: Residents at Concordia of Wexford Lilian and Robert will celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary in August. They met because they were neighbors growing up.
“He claims I would always happen to be outside at the same time as him,” Lilian said.
“It’s true, she wouldn’t let go of me,” Robert said playfully.
Their favorite memory of Independence Day was watching the downtown fireworks show out of their bedroom window.
“It was perfect because it would just be us. No crowds or strangers to ruin it.”
After they had children, they began the tradition of spending Fourth of July weekend on Presque Isle in Erie. They have three sons and one daughter as well as six grandsons.
“Having so many boys in our family definitely keeps things interesting,” Lilian said.
Do you have a favorite Fourth of July memory you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page!
If you or a loved one is considering a move to a retirement community or personal care community, or you are in need of short-term inpatient rehabilitation, in-home health care or any other senior care service, we hope you will consider Concordia. E-mail us through our Contact page or call our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571 to see what might be the best fit for your situation.
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