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What's the coolest thing.... - 7/2/2012 11:33:49 PM   
Canoerebel


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What's the coolest (or most memorable) thing you've ever done to celebrate the Fourth of July? (For the many fine non American forumites, you can choose a similar national holiday. For instance, for Miller he will tell you that one Boxing Day he found a sock left under his couch by a long-gone girlfriend. He drank a warm beer and wrote a poem in its honor).

P.S. Happy Independence Day to all my American brethren. Even if - drat it - it's also the anniversary of the capitulation of Vicksburg and the start of the Army of Northern Virginia's withdrawal from Gettysburg.

< Message edited by Canoerebel -- 7/2/2012 11:34:14 PM >
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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/2/2012 11:43:53 PM   
AW1Steve


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4th of July 1977. I was unhappy because I was stuck doing the barracks firewatch and couldn't go see the fireworks with my girlfriend. Imagine my surprise when I got to see fire works INSIDE the barracks! Unfortunatley most of them were aimed at me! 1st the residences started with a bottlerocket fight, that escalated to roman candles! A couple of hours later I had to explain to the chief of the watch and the base CO why I didn't stop it! The CO didn't like ; 1st my comment "are you out of ^^&&^%^ mind?!". Then he became very unhappy when I explained that I was busy taking cover UNDER a desk, and didn't really watch what happed!. Fortunately I was a brand new just out of boot camp E-1 so they settled for extra military training instead of Captains mast. I was sentenced to MORE watches. Eventually I got it right.

My wife and I will be much less exciting this year , by having our Traditional Maine 4th of July meal...Salmon pie with egg sauce, new peas and new potato's. Indian pudding and home made ice cream. (And of course beer!).

_____________________________

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/2/2012 11:47:14 PM   
mantill


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Although I have the misfortune of being non-American, my most memorable 4th of July was sitting on the patio of a house on a US air force base in Bedford (England), listening to some guys discuss big bear hunting in California, whilst sipping cold ones and watching the A10's fly over.

I didn't bother to mention the best we could rustle up in the way of large mammals is a rather miffed badger which would give you a nasty nip and possibly TB



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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/2/2012 11:54:37 PM   
denisonh


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Table VIII Bradley gunnery, night engagements at the Multi-Purpose Range Complex at Rodriguez range, ROK on 4 July 1994. 25mm tracers make for a good show watching from the range tower.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 12:03:14 AM   
danlongman

 

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Well it wasn't in the US and I do not remember if it was on the 4th of July but it was that long weekend (Canada Day is July 1st)
so it was near the US and near the 4th and it did involve fireworks sort of. I was working in the tower cab at an airport on a very
busy holiday weekend. As I took my lunch at the work position since it was too busy for a break I watched the quite drunk and not
quite bright fueller pumping avgas into the planes lined up at the fuel shack. He was wearing a pair of cut offs and idly smoking
a cigarette while he slopped 100LL all over the place and on himself. He suddenly seemed to become aware that he was smoking
(yeah you saw it comin') and flicked his butt right into a puddle of fuel. Well the vapour exploded and you should have seen that guy dance!! He was trying to fight the flames with the hose nozzle!! (Un)Fortunately another guy was paying attention and grabbed
the handy fire extinguisher and foamed the place. The smoker suffered nothing more serious than having his eyebrows singed off
leaving him for weeks with this hilarious constant look of surprise. I came closest to death nearly choking to death on an egg salad sandwich.
The aircraft in the circuit were calling us and my partner and I were laughing too hard to reply for quite a while.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 1:13:45 AM   
Justus2


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3rd-4th of July, 2010. I was leaving for Mobilization station (Ft. Polk, LA- ugh) en route to Afghanistan on the 5th. My brother's in-laws run a campground so they let us have several cabins for my family and my brother and sisters, watched a true small-town heartland fireworks show (Utica, IL population 700) the night of the 3rd, watched the kids swim a bit on the 4th before going home and finishing packing. No better way to remind me why I was going over.

2nd best was 4th of July 2011, a month or so after I got back home (went back to the same small town)!!

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 1:16:53 AM   
bigred


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July 4th, 1985. Ft. Irwin, live fire division. I was the s3air observer controller for a battalion night live fire exercise held in a point defense position. By this time all of us controllers were used to the night exercise. What made this event unusual was that all the wives had been invited to watch the event from the big bunker dug into the side of the hill behind us.

As the story goes the s3 was responsible for all the wives, so he had the ladies wear helmets and flack vest on this one and only trip(too many training accidents already had the ladies worried). Then he told the controllers the wives would be calling on the company controller net to talk to their loved one before the event. He did not tell us he also put the conversion between husband and wife on the brigade controller net for all to listen to(sneaky).

Well, my old boss( I had been a platoon controller but recently promoted to s3air controller), who was a company controller, gets on the net and starts his lovey dovey talk w/ his wife not knowing everyone is listening. I heard all the ladies up on the hill started laughing in the background. His wife was trying to shut him down but did not know how to jam the radio. Old boss showed his horny self and made a bad impression. I heard the post commander had his wife in attendance.

I was reminded when I was called to talk to my wife all I said was "hey babe, whats for supper" which seems to have gone over good w/ the ladies on the hill.

Bye the way , wife said that event was a very intense fire works display.


< Message edited by bigred -- 7/3/2012 1:31:30 AM >


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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 1:24:57 AM   
JohnDillworth


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Operation Sail (OpSail) 1976, Hudson River, in the shadow of the newly opened World Trade Center, watching the tall ships while a giant electrical storm brewed over New Jersey. Might be mistaken but the USS Forrestal just squeezing under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to join the festivities.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 1:41:31 AM   
Canoerebel


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In 2007 my wife and teenage daughter were in Israel during the hostilities involving Hamas or some group. I was pretty darned worried about their safety. On the 4th, my boys and I took a long hike to the top of Lavender Mountain near Rome, Georgia. Unbeknownst to us, Chick-fil-A had arranged a concert for a big youth group camp at the foot of the mountain. So, on the way up the mountain, me and my boys listened to Casting Crowns sing "Praise You in the Storm" live. I can't tell you how reassuring that was at a time when I was in turmoil. :)

P.S. My second most memorable was several 4ths spent at Wilder Tower at Chickamauga in the 1990s. Back then, the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra would perform on the lawn on Independence Day, closing with (of course) Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 7:00:52 AM   
rockmedic109

 

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Some 20 years ago the local resident deputy put on a fireworks display with all the illegal fireworks he confiscated. The show was cut short when an inebriated fellow with a pack of firecrackers in his shirt pocket was lighting a bottle rocket and in the process lit the fuse for the string of firecrackers. Didn't know whether to laugh, try to help or both.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 12:33:49 PM   
USS America


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Camping as a teenager at Gettysburg, early 80's, maybe '83 but not sure, and enjoying a reenactment of Pickett's Charge from around 2000 participants.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 12:40:40 PM   
tocaff


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I'll 2nd the OpSail in New York harbor on July 4, 1976 to celebrate the bicentennial. I was on the shoreline of New Jersey with 2 cameras slung and snapped away. That night I went down to the docks in Manhattan and ended up joining a party of Spanish sailors. I ended a marriage with wife unit 1.0 later that week.

I will now pull out those pics and view them tomorrow.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 12:59:54 PM   
rwolan@sbcglobal.net


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July 4th, 1979.

Spent the day exploring the hills and woods throughout the Ardennes Forest as a young boy. Besides climbing through a ruined Tiger tank on the side of the road, I was able to bring home several live rifle rounds that were found in a foxhole on the side of a hill.

Oh, the days before strip searches at the airport........

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 1:13:29 PM   
hartwig.modrow

 

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I'll stick to July 4th: my daughter was born, and I was there !

Hartwig

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Post #: 14
RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 2:01:35 PM   
The Gnome


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You guys have some great memories, mine have pretty much been vanilla 4th of July's, which is NOT a complaint, they've been great. This year I'm taking the train down to DC and watching fireworks from a friend's roofdeck who lives near where they go off.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 3:04:37 PM   
Cap Mandrake

 

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Good idea CR;


I would say my most memorable 4th of July was spent, ironically, in the mother country. I took a trip to France and England with my kids after my first wife died. It was meant to be a rally and recover trip. We stayed at a nice hotel in London, some Spanish chain on Marylebone Road. My daughters thought "Marylebone" was a funny name so they did their fake Keira Knightly accents and purposely asked strangers where Marylbone Road was. Nice hotel. Spanish maids, really cute Polish waitresses and Chinese check in staff. Not one damn Engrish accent either.

We spent a sublime day at the British Museum. My son liked the Iron Age artifacts. You guys wouldn't believe the cool stuff they bury in the ground over there. My youngest wanted to see some mummy named "Ginger" (red hair). As I recall, I saw the freakin' Rosetta Stone. Then we hurried back to the hotel for "tea" which consisted of pastries and free booze. We got there at the advertised time and my son and I grabbed a bottle of Beefeaters and started making martinis. I think it was his first martini. He pretended to like it. The Polish waitress was taken aback when she arrived and the crass Americans had already broken into the booze. All the other guests seemed to be high end Spanish businessmen who were behaving themselves. We left the waitress a $20 tip for being patient and cute. About 10:00 PM local time we were still hungry so we hoofed to a Greek restaurant run by an Italian guy. They were ready to close but they let us in. Food was terrible but the manager was nice. We told him we were celebrating the 4th of July and he had no clue what that meant. There were 6 or 7 old guys speaking German and not an Engrish accent in the place. In fact, the level of Engrish fluency in the place was pretty poor. The manager told us it was a Nazi meeting and then laughed so hard at his own joke he nearly choked. He recognized the chicken skewers were a bit dry so he yelled at his staff in Italian and brought out an olive sampler and wine for free. I think they were pretty much out of food.

We left out of Gatwick on 7-6 amid unbelievable security. Massive lines. 2 secuirty checkpoints. Most of the luggage opened. Guards with automatic weapons. Everyone was very serious. Next day was the 7-7 attack.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 4:48:04 PM   
ItsAMadhouse


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Hi,

I'd say the best 4th of July show I've seen was when we visited my brother at Ft Hood about 2000 or so. We went to the football stadium on base, which is where they do the fireworks display, and watched it. They did they 1812 Overture, which is written to have cannons firing during it, and had 105's or 155's firing with the music. What a show!

Number two is probably the war zone that was my street last year!

Joe

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 9:00:07 PM   
CaptDave

 

Posts: 603
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quote:

ORIGINAL: danlongman

Well it wasn't in the US and I do not remember if it was on the 4th of July but it was that long weekend (Canada Day is July 1st)
so it was near the US and near the 4th and it did involve fireworks sort of. I was working in the tower cab at an airport on a very
busy holiday weekend. As I took my lunch at the work position since it was too busy for a break I watched the quite drunk and not
quite bright fueller pumping avgas into the planes lined up at the fuel shack. He was wearing a pair of cut offs and idly smoking
a cigarette while he slopped 100LL all over the place and on himself. He suddenly seemed to become aware that he was smoking
(yeah you saw it comin') and flicked his butt right into a puddle of fuel. Well the vapour exploded and you should have seen that guy dance!! He was trying to fight the flames with the hose nozzle!! (Un)Fortunately another guy was paying attention and grabbed
the handy fire extinguisher and foamed the place. The smoker suffered nothing more serious than having his eyebrows singed off
leaving him for weeks with this hilarious constant look of surprise. I came closest to death nearly choking to death on an egg salad sandwich.
The aircraft in the circuit were calling us and my partner and I were laughing too hard to reply for quite a while.


Wonder if the guy's name was Stanley (reference to "The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!", for those who don't remember it).

(in reply to danlongman)
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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 9:05:12 PM   
CaptDave

 

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Most memorable, but not necessarily "cool" -- watching the fireworks at the base lake my first summer at Offutt AFB. Didn't use bug spray, and counted over 600 bites the next morning!

Second most memorable: the Cincinnati Pops concert at some park along the river east of town. Extra memorable because the wind caused the exploded material to drift into the crowd and my sister-in-law got burned on the leg (no, I'm not laughing about it -- it's just memorable).

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 11:03:22 PM   
desicat

 

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Ascension Island, South Atlantic. It was 100+ degrees as we watched an outdoor showing of Christmas Vacation at a RAF makeshift bar. Everyone was homesick from constant deployments and missions to the coast of Africa and back. I still smile when I think about the Teflon spray Chevy sprayed on his snow sled!

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 11:48:19 PM   
Cribtop


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Not July fourth, but fireworks are involved.

Mrs. Cribtop and I got married in Austin. We spent the night in the Four Seasons before leaving for our honeymoon. It was a perfect night and just after sundown a massive fireworks display was launched from a boat in the Colorado River just outside our hotel (Town Lake, now known as Lady Bird Lake).

We knew it wasn't for us, but it was fun to pretend it was. I asked at the front desk the day after and a Saudi Prince staying there had ordered them. What are the odds.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/3/2012 11:52:33 PM   
Gräfin Zeppelin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cribtop

Not July fourth, but fireworks are involved.

Mrs. Cribtop and I got married in Austin. We spent the night in the Four Seasons before leaving for our honeymoon. It was a perfect night and just after sundown a massive fireworks display was launched from a boat in the Colorado River just outside our hotel (Town Lake, now known as Lady Bird Lake).

We knew it wasn't for us, but it was fun to pretend it was. I asked at the front desk the day after and a Saudi Prince staying there had ordered them. What are the odds.


Thats a very VERY nice story. Now I have tears in my eyes.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/4/2012 6:19:54 PM   
ilovestrategy


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AW1Steve, that is one of the funniest incidents I have read about in a long, long time.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/4/2012 6:35:13 PM   
Titanwarrior89


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I can't remember any....but I love this one.
quote:

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve

4th of July 1977. I was unhappy because I was stuck doing the barracks firewatch and couldn't go see the fireworks with my girlfriend. Imagine my surprise when I got to see fire works INSIDE the barracks! Unfortunatley most of them were aimed at me! 1st the residences started with a bottlerocket fight, that escalated to roman candles! A couple of hours later I had to explain to the chief of the watch and the base CO why I didn't stop it! The CO didn't like ; 1st my comment "are you out of ^^&&^%^ mind?!". Then he became very unhappy when I explained that I was busy taking cover UNDER a desk, and didn't really watch what happed!. Fortunately I was a brand new just out of boot camp E-1 so they settled for extra military training instead of Captains mast. I was sentenced to MORE watches. Eventually I got it right.

My wife and I will be much less exciting this year , by having our Traditional Maine 4th of July meal...Salmon pie with egg sauce, new peas and new potato's. Indian pudding and home made ice cream. (And of course beer!).



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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/4/2012 6:37:00 PM   
Gary Childress


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Coolest thing I've ever done was in college going to the celebration down at the Mall in D.C. Can't beat a 4th surrounded by all the memorials and historical sites.

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/4/2012 7:11:20 PM   
Titanwarrior89


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You are right about that....I never felt more american than seeing the memorials and the national mall.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

Coolest thing I've ever done was in college going to the celebration down at the Mall in D.C. Can't beat a 4th surrounded by all the memorials and historical sites.



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Post #: 26
RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/4/2012 7:39:21 PM   
AW1Steve


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

Coolest thing I've ever done was in college going to the celebration down at the Mall in D.C. Can't beat a 4th surrounded by all the memorials and historical sites.



Living in Alexandria VA for 12 of the last 20 years , I got spoiled. All we had to do was go out onto our balcony , set our stero for "simucast" (thru PBS , so we'd hear the music from the USMC band on the Capitol) and pour a cool drink and sit comfortably back. It was funny to have a split second delay between explosions that we heard on stero (or TV) and hearing it on our own.

No traffic, no searches by various "security forces" , no crowded METRO , and no fighting for a plot of grass with a good view. Of course whenever we rented a high rise appartment I kept this one day a year in mind!

< Message edited by AW1Steve -- 7/4/2012 7:40:00 PM >


_____________________________

"Geezerhood is a state of mind, attained by being largely out of yours". AW1Steve

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Post #: 27
RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/4/2012 7:51:57 PM   
Gary Childress


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

Coolest thing I've ever done was in college going to the celebration down at the Mall in D.C. Can't beat a 4th surrounded by all the memorials and historical sites.



Living in Alexandria VA for 12 of the last 20 years , I got spoiled. All we had to do was go out onto our balcony , set our stero for "simucast" (thru PBS , so we'd hear the music from the USMC band on the Capitol) and pour a cool drink and sit comfortably back. It was funny to have a split second delay between explosions that we heard on stero (or TV) and hearing it on our own.

No traffic, no searches by various "security forces" , no crowded METRO , and no fighting for a plot of grass with a good view. Of course whenever we rented a high rise appartment I kept this one day a year in mind!


I lived in McLean and had a friend who lived in Alexandria. Usually when we went somewhere in DC we would park our cars somewherer across the river and ride out bikes in. Biking around the Mall was always fun even on non-holidays. But it was especially great during a major festivity. I don't really mind crowds so long as I can get to where I want to go. In fact crowds on the Mall during the 4th sort of make it all come together for me.

When I was a kid we would occasionally spend the 4th at my Grandmother's house in Hillsborough VA. Put the bug torches up and sit out on the lawn and light our own. She lived right along the Virginia/W. Virginia border, right at the foot of a large row of hills. Of course there was plenty of family around and we'd grill hotdogs or chicken. And my grandmother had a huge flagpole in her front lawn. It was the kind of fun time where just watching the grass grow left a good feeling, reminiscent of a Thomas Kinkaide painting or something. Ah...good times.

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Favorite/Awesome games from Matrix

War in the Pacific/AE
Panzer Corps
Commander Europe at War
John Tiller's Campaign Series
The Close Combat Series (all versions)

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Post #: 28
RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/4/2012 8:19:05 PM   
AW1Steve


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A local "secret" is that if you don't live there, and don't want to deal with searches, fire fences and TSA inspired security, go to the Iwo Jima memorial. Best view around!

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RE: What's the coolest thing.... - 7/5/2012 4:30:52 AM   
sanch

 

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Had a big bonfire at a party long ago (back in the 70's) - and some embers got into the bags of fireworks. What a show!!

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