4th of July and this country’s highest ideals

On Thursday we celebrated America’s 237th Independence Day, the day Americans celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.

Given as I am often to finding out what Paul Harvey used to describe as “the rest of the story” there are some facts about America’s founding document and the day set aside for its commemoration…

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Residents celebrate July 4th with a bang

Hundreds of area residents and families closed out their Fourth of July Thursday evening with Overton‘s annual fireworks show lakeside in the city park.

A few minutes before the night sky streaked with sparks of red, blue, green and orange, Henderson resident Hugh Brownley took time to reflect on what Independence Day means to him.

“I was in the military, so it means a lot to me,” Brownley said.

He served in the Air Force for 3 1/2 years during the 1950s in Korea. His son, Steve Brownley, traveled to Henderson from Huntsville to spend time with the family during the holiday.

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The Burdens of our Freedom

I took advantage of my three-day weekend to catch up on some reading, specifically that of this constitutional republic we call the United States of America.

After my traditional yearly reading of the Declaration of Independence, whose birthday we observed Monday evening, I moved on to a collection of correspondence between John Adams and his wife Abigail.

Reading of Mr. Adams’ thoughts the very day before he signed his name to the document that represented the final straw in the colonies ongoing dispute with “Mother England” one paragraph in particular leaped out from the page:

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Well, I can’t say there was much in the way of “solemn acts of devotion” but there was plenty of pomp, parade, games and illuminations. We held off on the guns and bonfires though with the burn ban and all. No need to go overboard. Freedom without responsibility is chaos.

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