Thanks to those in the city of Portland who made sure the funding was in the budget for the annual fireworks display on the Eastern Prom.

Walking up Munjoy Hill and finding a prime viewing spot has been a family tradition for decades, and this year’s display was as good as any. The Portland Symphony Orchestra was missed by many, but it may have allowed something totally unexpected and heartwarming.

In these times of divisiveness, somewhere in the diverse crowd of thousands, made up of innumerable races and nationalities, someone began to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” More and more people joined in until all around us, almost all were singing. It ended in applause.

It may be a small thing, but these days we need all the good news we can get.

Sam Beal