July Fourth 2020

Fireworks at the Carmel Performing Arts Center
Fireworks at the Carmel Performing Arts Center

This weekend we celebrate one of America’s biggest holidays. This year, though, will be one we won’t forget for a long time. The Fourth, as we call it, is one of the best days as it is usually jam-packed with parades, picnics, festivals, music, partying, bar-b-ques, and especially fireworks. Not his year, though.

July 2020 in the year of the pandemic has changed how we celebrate and our ability to celebrate drastically. This is the year, if you are smart, to stay home and distance yourself to avoid becoming a statistic in the pandemic that just won’t quit. America this July 4th is a different place.

A parade is not good social distancing

I’ll try to leave the politics out of this article but it does play a big part in the scope of things. The last few days America has seen a huge spike in the number of infections and that number doesn’t show any signs of letting up. America’s younger adults are catching this virus at an alarming rate and many cities are reaching capacity in their hospitals. This is not a year for celebration.

Having seen COVID-19 firsthand with the death of my wife’s father and then watching her suffer through it was very scary to me. I have said it numerous times on this site. I wouldn’t wish COVID on anyone. What it did to Debra was devastating. While Debra has now recovered (more or less) we will celebrate the fact that she is still here with me. We will celebrate together and in our own yard and neighborhood.


We will still remember what the 4th of July is all about. We still celebrate the indolence and life we have being American and living in a country with unprecedented freedoms. But, 2020 has awakened us to a lot of things. We not only have had to deal with a pandemic but also a division in this country like we haven’t ever experienced. We have dealt with major racial tensions and protests over abuse by some of our police. Politically, we are in a place where our leadership for this country has failed us. Never have we seen so many Americans die that didn’t need to die.

I awake every morning wondering if the alternate universe it seems that we are in will magically go away. It doesn’t take long to read the day’s headlines to know we are still where we were the day before.


I love America. Two of my sons and Debra’s sons have served this country. My oldest son is approaching 20 years of service and I am so proud of them. They served so we could live and enjoy life in America. I love them and want to thank them and all the men and women who have served and are still serving for their sacrifices and duty.

In this article, I have shared some photos from past Fourth of Julys. I hope that this year is an exception, a time out, a chance to correct the course. I look forward to 2021 with optimism and hope that on July 4th we will celebrate like we never have before. This is the year all of us should learn how to come together, to watch each other’s back, and do our best to survive the challenges that we face.


No, in my family this is the worst year ever. We have seen sickness and death. We have seen our business upended and have had to make severe changes in our lives to see our way through this pandemic and survive. I have watched many people lose their jobs and face the challenge of recovery from COVID. Nothing is easy. And, it’s not just my family; it is the whole world and I hope we don’t forget that.

It’s a time we can come together as a country and a world and work towards a cure or vaccine for everyone. We can do what it seems many of our leaders can’t. This is about a virus that doesn’t care a thing about who you are, or where you are from, or what you believe. We should do what we can to support one another and stay safe.

Please follow the recommendations to stay safe. Wear a mask and maintain social distancing. We have a long way to go to come out on the other end of this thing.

I want to get back out and travel, and more than anything else photograph in all the favorite places in the world. I want to do this with other photographers on workshops or just with my photography friends. I want to share these adventures and photos with others and the readers of this site. I know that I will be able to do this again. All I have to do is be smart now and be cautious. We will get through this.


Please enjoy these images shared in this article, not so much for the celebration of the past or what we will be missing this year, but more for what we look forward to next year. Remember those who have sacrificed so much so we can be here today. Let’s also remember the first responders and everyone on the frontlines of this pandemic who have seen and sacrificed so much. Even as bad as things seem to be, we still have our freedom and each other.

On behalf of Debra, Michale Durr, Chris Sanderson, and all of the many people and readers who have helped make this site a realization of my dreams, I want to thank you. Please have a Happy Fourth of July. Stay safe and think about next year when we will celebrate like we have never celebrated before.

Kevin Raber
July 2020
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: News, Columns, MISC

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