Opinion

July 1, 2014

A heritage to celebrate

Memorial Day may kick off the summer season, but the real beginning of high summer is two days away — Independence Day.

This Fourth of July marks the 238th anniversary of the signing of our Declaration of Independence, marking an end of sufferance under foreign rule and tyranny, the end of “allegiance to the British Crown” and an affirmation of natural rights that this nation still embodies.

Way back in 1776 it was first urged that all Americans should celebrate the Fourth in a loud and celebratory manner. That tradition continues and here in the Dalton area we do our part, thanks to the Dalton Parks and Recreation and Murray County Recreation departments.

Activities start at noon Friday at Heritage Point Park in Dalton, including such events throughout the afternoon and evening as disc golf and bean bag toss tournaments, a Little Miss Rec pageant and professional wrestling. Two events we would more enjoy watching rather than participating in are eating contests featuring regional products: Little Debbies and Krystal hamburgers.

The big bang, so to speak, comes at the end of the day: a fireworks display that should get underway at about 9:15 p.m.

In this area we are blessed that we can attend two Fourth of July festivals. Activities in Murray County will be on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. at the department on Chestnut Street. The grounds will be filled with about 25 to 30 vendors selling food and other items along with a band and plenty of outdoor activities for kids.

A fireworks show will be launched at about 9:30 p.m.

Celebrating the Fourth of July, could anything be more traditionally American? It is a holiday that is truly ours and has remained constant for more than two centuries.

So whether you attend any or all of the activities offered in Dalton and Chatsworth, remember the meaning behind it all.

Although democracy wasn’t invented in America, and we haven’t perfected it, this nation has given birth to the American way of life: One person, one vote; freedom of speech and religion; protection from dictators, military rule and royalty.

Some will argue that this is not the greatest nation on Earth. We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

 

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