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.

Alison Gray



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(1) comment

George Don Spruill

“Born in the USA” is an anti-American song. Look at the lyrics:

"Born In The U.S.A."

Born down in a dead man's town

The first kick I took was when I hit the ground

You end up like a dog that's been beat too much

'Til you spend half your life just coverin' up

Born in the U.S.A

I was born in the U.S.A

I was born in the U.S.A

Born in the U.S.A

Got in a little hometown jam

So they put a rifle in my hand

Sent me off to a foreign land

To go and kill the yellow man

Born in the U.S.A

I was born in the U.S.A

I was born in the U.S.A

I was born in the U.S.A

Come back home to the refinery

Hiring man says, "Son if it was up to me"

Went down to see my V.A. man

He said, "Son, don't you understand"

I had a brother at Khe Sanh

Fighting off the Viet Cong

They're still there, he's all gone

He had a woman he loved in Saigon

I got a picture of him in her arms now

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary

Out by the gas fires of the refinery

I'm ten years burning down the road

Nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go

Born in the U.S.A

I was born in the U.S.A. now

Born in the U.S.A

I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A. now

Born in the U.S.A

Born in the U.S.A

Born in the U.S.A

I'm a cool rockin' Daddy in the U.S.A. now

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