The July fourth Celebration at Marietta Square this past weekend (July 3, 2021) was wonderful. I want to thank the planning committee and everyone that assisted in planning and implementing all the facets that were necessary to make this event successful. My husband, daughter and I arrived at 3:15 pm and only planned to stay couple of hours at Marietta Square but winded up staying the rest of the day; enjoying the fireworks in the evening while listening to “Born in the USA.” Of course, the live bands, cordial crowds, delicious food options and the nice weather played a part in the decision to extend our stay. We relaxed lazily, listened to music, and watched as people walked by, families with their youngsters in tow, vendors advertising and selling their wares, canines on leashes sporting creative July 4th collars and booties.
In this country we celebrate July Fourth to commemorate when the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence (in 1776) thereby separating us from Great Britain and providing us the freedom to govern ourselves as an independent nation. But what does this freedom mean to us individually? For me, freedom is not only the right to self-govern but also to express opinions and views that are not popular or accepted whether they are religious, political, or social. Our forefathers stood and fought for a place where people could express themselves freely and responsibly by using the pen, speech. etc. At the square there were a few people that exercised this right by sporting political slogans, handing out pamphlets (books) or carrying signage – this is freedom too.
As the evening winded down and the crowds gathered toward the northwest corner of the square, I was reminded less of the slogans, positions, and views than the enjoyment shared between people of multiple generations. In that moment as they all lifted their eyes to a celebratory evening sky reflective of hope; past, present and future, I realized this too, was liberty.