America’s military-themed diners
Another Fourth of July—there will be celebrations with lots of fireworks by Macy’s in New York, and there will be the reading of the Declaration of Independence at 10 a.m. in Washington, D.C. followed by a parade and a concert in the evening with more fireworks. Boston will have fireworks, but the nicest is on the West Coast at San Diego where the fireworks will be set off from barges out in the ocean. I wish we could just watch them in Beardstown. When we were kids, we didn’t know what we were celebrating, we just knew that it was the time we got cap guns; they were automatic, too. Then the sprinklers, on which we all got a finger burnt once, and being barefoot we knew we weren’t to throw the hot, burnt ones in the grass.
There have been many military-themed restaurants springing up across the United States, celebrating those who served our country at home and abroad. One such place is in Ypsilanti, Mich., about 30 minutes from Detroit. This diner was active in 1940, close to the Ford-run Willow Run Bomber Plant, which at its peak at 40,000 employees was manufacturing one B-24 bomber per hour via Henry Ford’s automotive-style assembly line. Women who worked at the plant became known as “Rosie the Riveters” after employee Rose Monroe became an icon of wartime production. Joanna McCoy and Vietnam War veteran John Sebastian bought the business in 1995 and changed it into a military-themed restaurant.