Why can’t we just do the Fourth in one day?


If it seems like we have been cel­e­brat­ing In­de­pen­dence Day for more than a week, that’s be­cause we have. This is the time we celebrate our birth as a na­tion and the free­doms that we cher­ish. It seems that we can’t get it all into just one day.

It is a great time for all of us to come to­gether and celebrate our great na­tion. In pol­i­tics, there may be Red States or Blue States, and some even are called Pur­ple States. But for a least a few days in the mid­dle of the sum­mer, we are all Red, White and Blue.

It was more than a day when it all got started back in 1776. The ac­tual vote for In­de­pen­dence came on July 2. At that point there was no fin­ished writ­ten Dec­la­ra­tion that would come on the fourth. For that rea­son, John Adams and Ben­jamin Franklin thought we should ob­serve July 2 as our birth as a na­tion. The first public read­ing would come on July 8 and that was when the Lib­erty Bell was rung.

Yesterday in the City of Cov­ing­ton, there was a full day of cel­e­bra­tion at the Square with ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages. There was a con­cert by the New­ton County Com­mu­nity Band and Mass Choir. On two dif­fer­ent stages there were var­i­ous mu­si­cal groups. There was great food avail­able at a food court and a pa­rade of golf carts for the Spe­cial Olympics Eques­trian Team. The evening was topped off by the Na­tional An­them fol­lowed by a spec­tac­u­lar fire­works ex­trav­a­ganza. This was all spon­sored by the city and Main Street Cov­ing­ton.

The last few years, this spec­tac­u­lar cel­e­bra­tion has been on July Fourth. Un­der the lead­er­ship of Mayor Ron­nie John­ston and the City Coun­cil, this has be­come a great day to ex­press our pa­tri­o­tism. Last year it was es­ti­mated the 6,000 peo­ple were on the Square and ad­ja­cent area, and a to­tal of 40,000 folks watched the fire­works. More were ex­pected for this year.

We are in­debted each year to Robert Fox­worth for his very gen­er­ous sup­port and lead­er­ship for this fire­works spec­tac­u­lar. This is the sev­enth year he has given his sup­port and re­cruited oth­ers to help as well. When asked why each year he does this, he said, “I like giv­ing back. I get a thrill out of see­ing the smiles on peo­ple’s faces. Ev­ery­one loves fire­works.”

In our area, maybe the first “of­fi­cial cel­e­bra­tions” started with the cel­e­bra­tions in So­cial Cir­cle and Lo­ganville. Mayor Hal Dally of So­cial Cir­cle said the city came to­gether with the lo­cal church to have the In­de­pen­dence Day Cel­e­bra­tion. Fea­tured was a pa­rade honor­ing Viet­nam Vet­er­ans and a gospel mu­sic con­cert, fol­lowed by fire­works.

I knew we were in for more than a day, when I went to my ex­er­cise class at the Y led by Dar­cel Tabb on Mon­day and we did some of our ex­er­cise to pa­tri­otic mu­sic. One day will sim­ply not hold it all.

Now many of the cel­e­bra­tions are sched­uled af­ter the dead­line for me to turn this col­umn in, so I am go­ing out on a limb and as­sum­ing they all went with­out a hitch. Now if weather was a prob­lem Fri­day or yesterday, don’t blame me. I al­ways told peo­ple when I was the pas­tor of a church, “Don’t blame me; I am in sales, not man­age­ment.”

On Fri­day there was sched­uled at pic­nic for the folks in Ox­ford at the Old Church. On July 4 there was to the an­nual pa­rade through the heart of Ox­ford. This tra­di­tion started with bi­cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tion in 1976 and has con­tin­ued ev­ery year since, spon­sored by the city and the Lions Club.

Wait­ing at the end of the pa­rade was wa­ter­melon and pop­corn.

On the night of the fourth, Por­terdale had its an­nual “Fes­ti­val, Fanfare, and Fire­works.” For four days, Cony­ers has fea­tured at the Ge­or­gia In­ter­na­tional Horse Park a Star and Stipes Cir­cuit Sanc­tioned Quar­ter Horse Show.

Judge Kendall Wynne, speak­ing to the Ki­wa­nis Club of Cov­ing­ton at the end of June, pointed out that we can trace our Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pence back to at least two things. One is the de­sire in all peo­ple of all times to be free. The other source he men­tioned was the Magna Carta of 1215. From that doc­u­ment came the right to a trial by jury. This, the judge said, is what stands be­tween the peo­ple and the power of the gov­ern­ment. He said this makes 2015 a very spe­cial year, in that it is the 800th an­niver­sary of the Magna Carta.

Let use these days of cel­e­bra­tion to re­mem­ber how blessed we are for those who were bold enough to de­clare our in­de­pen­dence as a na­tion. Let us be inspired to get in­volved to use our free­doms for the com­mon good. Let us as a peo­ple be sure that we con­tinue to in­clude all, not only in the cel­e­bra­tion, but in the ben­e­fits of free­dom. While we de­clare our in­de­pen­dence as a na­tion, we are very in­ter­de­pen­dent on oth­ers that make up our land. This is not just for a day or even a week, but for all our days.

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