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Mike the Mailman: Happy Birthday, America

by on July 03, 2012 6:14 AM

I love birthdays. I love celebrating life, reflecting on the years past and the future possibilities, as well as the presents — I mean the present.

I've had 40 some birthdays (OK maybe a few more than that but who's counting?) to celebrate, however I've wanted to plus one that I wasn't expecting where my wife, Katie, and daughters, Marykate and Michaela, successfully planned a surprise party for me.

There have been other low key family fun days as well as nice dinners out with friends and family. But one thing I have never experienced for my birthday (and this may be due to the fact that my birthday is in December) are fireworks. Our nation seems to get them every year, and I'm thrilled to experience all the festivities that come with wishing America a very Happy Birthday.

I always enjoy this holiday because we (my friends and neighbors that live in Linden Hall) have the most fun celebrating it together.

The festivities actually begin this evening when all of the members of the Linden Hall Village Association vote on who should be the queen of the 25th annual parade that almost everyone in the village participates in.

This may be the smallest, shortest parade that takes place in the nation, but my goodness, it might be the most entertaining for both participants and spectators. The parade lasts all of approximately seven minutes, and afterward we all convene for a BBQ, good conversation and a lot of laughter.

Everyone has their own activities and even set rituals planned for this day, but what I think is so special is that everyone, in their own way, is celebrating our nations freedom.

Like Katie and I, we will have the parade and BBQ with our neighborhood during the early afternoon and then along with thousands of our closest friends, we will migrate up to Beaver Stadium to view the breathtaking fireworks display later Wednesday evening.

Every spot on the stadium grounds is a VIP seat, pack a picnic or purchase food there. It's more fun than any PSU tailgate and unlike my birthday weather, you're sure to get a good tan.

It is at this time that I also like to express my sincerest gratitude to those past, present and future military service men and women who have fought to protect our right of freedom in this country. Thank you for your loyalty and dedication, courage and strength. We are the home of the free because of the brave.

Don't forget your sparklers, hot dogs and sense of patriotism Wednesday — it's going to be another fun birthday bash.  I'm looking forward to seeing all of you there.

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Mike (The Mailman) Herr gives his stamp of approval to all visitors Monday through Friday at the University Park post office in the ground floor of McAllister Building, adjacent to the HUB. His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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