Very few, if any, dates of the calendar are more American than this single date each year. The celebrations, the festivities, the time of remembering the reason for our independence can really become inspiring for even those who may not know the cost of this celebration.
There have been many who have explained the cost to our ancestors, and while it may be impossible to discern fact from fiction 238 years later, there is overwhelming evidence that those who signed their name knew the possible ultimate cost. They pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor! They were literally signing their death warrant if this did not turn out well.
Very few of us have ever had that kind of pressure and this is a good thing, but for us to enjoy our lives today someone in the past had to decide that enough was enough, and even death was better than living under the rule of someone else who seemed not to care about anything other than what taxes they could collect from our ancestors.
The republic which they founded was not only worth that much to them, they were planning for their children and the generations that they would never even see.
Our nation, under God, has faults like many others but we are also abundantly blessed due to the fact that we acknowledged our Creator and originally set our sights on His word to form a more perfect union.
Our community is also blessed with many examples of those who support not only Bradley County, but our entire region with events for all to enjoy. There are many planned events for this Fourth of July and I encourage you to partake of those that interest you and your family the most.
Starting with doors opening at 8:30 a.m., the 15th anniversary of the His Hands Extended Freedom Celebration will be held at Cleveland’s First Baptist Church. According to Max Morris, Tyler Brinson and Steve Beasley have been rehearsing with the First Baptist Choir and other special singers to bring an exceptional 1 1/2 hour patriotic, spiritual and uplifting beginning to this fabulous day.
Commissioner-elect Howard Thompson will once again hold his annual fireworks celebration on Highway 64 at the Flea Market. Tailgating usually begins here at around 4:30 p.m. in an effort to secure the best parking and enjoy some of the free food available.
Thompson said approximately 1,000 hot, dogs will be given away first and then the remaining food will be available at regular price. The band “2 x 2” will be performing after 7 p.m. and the fireworks at this location should begin somewhere around 9:15 p.m.
Mount Olive Church of God, along with Larry Hill Ford, will once again be providing the fireworks extravaganza at Bradley Square Mall. The launching site of the fireworks this year will be at the T.L. Lowery Ministry Center. Parking will be available all along the merchants row on Paul Huff Parkway and surrounding areas. According to WCLE Lite Mix 104.1 owner Steve Hartline, you will be able to enjoy the fireworks show as well as tune in to listen to Ed Ramsey, who will be broadcasting the choreographed patriotic music to go along with the show at their FM station, 104.1.
I hope to see you all out enjoying all that our county has to offer during this special time of celebrating our independence.
If your plans include celebrating on a smaller scale with just family, and that time together includes fireworks, please make sure small children have adequate supervision. As beautiful as some of the fireworks today are, they also may prove to be dangerous when in the wrong hands.
It is comforting that the fireworks we see at this time truly are just for entertainment, but may it also remind us that “once upon a time” they were for real, and many who went before us have sacrificed for us to be able to enjoy our home, our state and our nation.
Thank you, Bradley County citizens, for continuing the history of honoring the past and celebrating the now, but also planning for the future that continues the course of Bradley County being Tennessee at its best.