Celebrating The Fourth of July at Duncan Lake

Duncan Lake floods about 10 acres. It’s surrounded by hardwoods and marked by a small island. The fish are plentiful but small. It’s a pretty place. A safe place.

Duncan is located on a piece of federal property, open to anyone who can get here. It’s accessible by small boat, canoe or kayak. A regulation barring gasoline-powered engines helps keep the place quiet.

This is a popular picnicking and fishing spot and that’s what a couple of families are doing while the sun goes down on another Independence Day. A father is paddling his two youngsters in a small john boat. They are near the south tip of the island, where one of kids squeals each time a bluegill pulls her bobber under. She seems to be squealing every few seconds.

On the bank another family is cooking hot dogs over a small fire. A boy is shooting firecrackers. From across the lake the young girl’s voice is pure joy, “Daddy, I got another one!”

I never served in the military but know that countless men and women have and continue to do so, all of whom have helped make possible the happy sounds I hear today.

A purely American holiday, July 4th is celebrated because it marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776; lifetimes ago.

The road to Duncan Lake is a long and winding one, running through Valley Forge, Yorktown, Manasses, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Marne River, Pearl Harbor, Bastogne, Omaha Beach, Midway, Iwo Jima, Pusan, Saigon, Fallujah, Kandahar and a hundred other blood stained places where the Declaration has, in one way or another, been defended.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day.