I realize that Independence Day has come and gone, but I wanted to share some moments from our day.
Our town, once a booming coal mining town, had not had a parade for 30 years. Apparently in the past, July 4th parades were quite a tradition. This year, one woman had the idea to bring back the parade as a way of celebrating and bringing hope to our town which has experienced loss of people, jobs, and opportunities. The plan took on a life of its own as more and more people wanted to participate. The excitement was palpable as residents anticipated July 4th morning. We live on Main Street, so it was fun to be able to sit in our front yard to watch the festivities. Friends wandered by and joined us. The parade participants consisted of local police, fire trucks, ambulances, antique cars, sports cars, and every imaginable ATV decorated with patriotic colors. Of course the children enjoyed collecting the thrown candy and prizes. I really think it was the most fun parade we have attended. Everyone was smiling: the real kind of happy smiles!
After the parade, we walked down to the park for a short ceremony which included an address from the mayor, a patriotic song sung by an up-and-coming local singer, and a spiritual sung by a leader in the African-American community. A gun salute followed the program, and then hot dogs and lemonade were served to all.
It was a beautiful sight to look around and see people of various ages, skin tones, and income levels all joining together to celebrate our freedom and our town.
That evening , we drove out to Shekinah Village for a fun evening of games, food, and fireworks. It was a great family and community day.