I have had this happen to me. In one case, I was able to locate and contact one of the survivors listed and thus was able to connect with a childhood friend. I had lost contact with her as her dad was in the AF, and they moved all over the world. In the other situation, I sent a letter to the sister of a friend who had died, and I got no reply. Her dad had died with early onset dementia, and I am afraid maybe the same had happened to her, but she had smoked so it is possible lung cancer got her; I will never know.
The official one was cancelled here to avoid crowds, but at least 4 bedroom communities still had theirs Usually I can see the ones from a nearby club or from the baseball field, but those were cancelled as well. I was absolutely shocked to see on FB that my husband's nephew's step- daughter in Katy, Texas, had stacks of fireworks in her garage that they were going to set off at 8:30 cdt and it was going to be live on FB. I did not watch, but I may check out the video later. I wasn't sure that was a great idea as she has 3 little kids, but it sounds like they have done this for the past few years, and it seems a lot of their neighbors do the same in this affluent neighborhood. Instead of having a party for their personal fireworks, they invited their friends to park a few blocks over in the parking lot of a local park. The idea of someone setting off a fairly large fireworks display from their own backyard in a suburb just blew my mind. We used to light sparklers when I was a kid, and the teenagers used to set off small fireworks, but this was more like they had bought out the store at one of the large fireworks warehouses like this place. http://www.sheltonfireworks.com/
We had a rather boring 4th. I did a picnic inside with hot dogs and watermelon, potato salad and cole slaw. The neighborhood parade went ahead as usual, but was a lot smaller than usual. The neighbor hood concert was cancelled, and there were no floats, although a few people still were in costume and riding in convertibles and waving. They were also throwing beads made of stars this year so it was like Mardi Gras and the 4th of July all rolled into one little parade. I am sure the drummers in their 18th C costumes with masks were probably miserable in the heat. I caught a necklace. I did enjoy watching the fireworks last night from DC--I love it when they set them off while the 1812 overture is playing.
One of the signers is in my family tree. I have a spoon from his estate that my grandmother got from her grandmother. My grandmother's other grandmother was the daughter of a Revolutionary soldier. She was the youngest of his children by his 3rd wife. I think she was born in 1815. I personally can feel really connected to Independence Day, but I realize many others do not. (On the other side of the family, my gr-grandfather came here from Portugal in the 1870's so not the connected feeling on that side).