After the parade, my family celebrated the rest of the 4th at Cantigny, which is the former estate of Robert McCormick, the WWI veteran and lifelong super-Patriot who founded the Chicago Tribune, among other things.
The people in this photo are watching a magic show. But what is that smoke in the background?
Oh, just the side-effects of lots of cannon fire. These Revolutionary War re-enactors were a lot more liberal with their powder than any Civil War cannon shooting re-enactors I've ever seen.
There was a full encampment even though, as far as I know, no Revolutionary War battles were fought in Wheaton, Illinois (Commentators: Let me know if I'm wrong.)
This little dude could explain the origin and use anything on his table with astounding levels enthusiasm.
Looks like you're going to have to spend more time in the weightroom before you can be in the army, miss.
Kids could paint a banner honoring Mr. McCormick.
I found myself wandering over to the visitor's center.
They had a map you could walk all over. Here I am standing above where I was standing when I was standing above where I was standing.
A portion of a mural honoring Robert McCormick (probably not painted by children).
Back outside I watched my relations tackle this Spider-Man bouncy obstacle course.
A thing about Cantigny, the thing I remembered from when I visited in 4th or 5th grade: There are SO MAN TANKS THERE.
You can climb all over them, no one cares.
Or even be patriotic on them, if you want.
A performance of American Patriot music.
I went into the nearby Museum of the 1st Infantry Division. That's the division Mr. McCormick served in in the 1st World War. Here is a guy that made dog tags.
They had an exhibit on the army cartoonist from WWII that drew cartoons that looked like this:
You either kind of know who I'm talking about or you don't, I guess.
There were various WWII soldiers' possessions on display in that same exhibit, such as this sleeping bag with the name of all the places the soldier owning it had visited with it.
And, of course, the usual Nazi mementos.
What you aiming at, soldier?
Oh just one of my fellow 1st Infantry comrades.
I know, Shocked Union Soldier, I can't believe his brazen attitude either.
They have an expertly-themed walkthrough history of all the places the 1st Infantry fought, from WWI . . .
. . . to WWII (picture taken from the Normandy Invasion simulator)
To Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm.
Such an American place, hard to believe they banned the Hamburger, our most American food.
Epilogue: And after going home and after hamburgers and sausages and hot dogs for dinner? Neighborhood fireworks show at the High School!