Sitting on top of a heather-covered hill overlooking a distance stage below, I was in awe of this magnificent place called Rebild National Park. Thousands of people had gathered in nature’s most beautiful amphitheater to sing patriotic songs, listen to distinguished guest speakers, share common goals and dreams, and remember the importance of July 4th.
This hilly, heathland, located in the small town of Rebild, Denmark on the Jutland peninsula, had been used for cattle grazing until 1912 when a group of Danish Americans bought the 200 acres. They wanted a place to celebrate the American Independence Day with their families and other American expatriates.
After donating the land to Denmark, Rebild became the country’s first national park and home to the largest July 4th observance held outside of the United States. Each July 4th Danes and Americans gather for a daylong celebration of food, activities, music and the hoisting of the U.S. and Danish flags while the two countries’ national anthems are played.
For me, the overwhelming beauty, the comradery between all nations represented, and the pride in my homeland, the United States of America, made July 4th in Denmark a wonderful memory that will last a lifetime.
Happy July 4th to all, near and far!
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