Standing in the backyard, I am surrounded by flags of red, white, and blue. Family and friends mull around tables laden with food and drink. Everyone is happy, talkative, and dressed in their summer best. My grandfather and uncle have pinned the United States Marine Seal to their shirts to remind us all that they served our country. Grandma has made more pies, cakes, and jellies decorated with stars and stripes than anyone could eat. I see the kids jumping in and out of the pool, smiles and sunburns on their faces. Right before the fireworks start, we gather around the fire pit roasting s’mores and talk about what freedoms we cherish the most. My sister is thankful for freedom of speech, mom, women’s right to vote, and I am glad we have the right to the pursuit of happiness. Blankets are spread on the ground, lights are extinguished; Grandpa brings an old record player outside to play America the Beautiful and Star Spangled Banner among others. When the fireworks start, we gaze up at the sky lit with diamonds of different colors. Most have smiles, a few have tears. When it is over, we all clap and from over the fences you can hear the neighbors giving appreciation as well. As Americans, my family thinks of the goals we should always be working for, and about the people who have fought so hard to make our ideals possible and the ability to dream bigger and better dreams for ourselves.