I have always enjoyed the charm of a local Independence Day parade. In my old hometown of Wyoming, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, the streets would come alive in the morning with the sounds of fire truck sirens, the High School marching band, and numerous neighborhoods dressed in red, white and blue and marching in the parade. Local politicians would ride in the parade and wave to the crowd.
A friend of mine used to live at the start of the parade route and would have coffee and donuts available for the fire and police departments as well as parade organizers. People lined the streets, waved flags, and had a great time. Some of the neighbors along the parade route would roast hot dogs. It wasn’t about politics, it was simply a great way for the community to pull together in honor of the country. I am pleased to say they continue this tradition to this day.
Unfortunately, it is not the same in my current hometown of Palm Harbor, Florida who has yet to discover the benefits of this community event. I would have thought the American Legion, the VFW, the Masons, or the local Chamber of Commerce would have pushed for such an event, but not yet. Maybe they think it is too hot for such a parade or that not enough people would show any interest. I hate to say it, but Cincinnati gets every bit as hot as Florida during the summer, perhaps more so. And there should be sufficient interest as neighboring Safety Harbor hosts such a parade. I wonder what they know that we don’t? It would be nice to see the local community pull together and demonstrate a little unity on America’s birthday.
No, this is not about taking a knee and protesting. It’s about community spirit, pride, and teaching patriotism to our youth, plus having a little fun while we’re at it. Are we so polarized that we cannot simply enjoy our community and country? I’m not there to represent a political party or ideology as that is not the point. Instead, I attend such functions as a proud American.
As we all know, the Declaration of Independence was signed on Thursday, July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia. A copy was then taken by courier to General Washington who was currently stationed in New York City with his troops preparing to engage the British. It took some time for the document to reach Washington as it was delivered by horse rider, not by text messaging, e-mail, or Morse code for that matter. Consequently, Washington received it two days later on Saturday, July 6th, along with a letter from John Hancock as president of the Continental Congress.
After studying the DOCUMENT, Washington ordered his troops to assemble in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday, July 9th at 6:00 pm, where Washington’s officers read the Declaration to all of his troops. Local citizens were allowed to attend as well. For the general, the document was very timely as it provided the rationale for breaking away from Britain and creating a new nation, thereby motivating his troops.
The words in the Declaration were so inspirational, New Yorkers raced down Broadway where they toppled and decapitated a statue of King George III. This was later melted down and used for ammunition against the British. It must have been quite a sight.
Since then, America has celebrated the 4th of July as an important event in our history. I do not believe the founding fathers would be overly impressed by some of today’s home town parades, but I am sure they would appreciate the love and affection we still hold for our country.
Happy Independence Day!
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]