Celebrate America on the 4th

Posted 7/10/19
I would like to express my deep disappointment at how truly unpatriotic the Old School 4th event was. While I appreciate all the labor and time that went into putting on an event to bring our …

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Celebrate America on the 4th

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I would like to express my deep disappointment at how truly unpatriotic the Old School 4th event was. While I appreciate all the labor and time that went into putting on an event to bring our community together for fun and festivities, this was in no way an Independence Day celebration of our great country. No matter your views on the current administration, our country is worthy of celebrating. Having lived and traveled extensively in many other countries, I kiss the ground every time I come home! I am so grateful for the freedoms, rule of law and respect for human life that sets this country apart from most others. Yet not one word was mentioned by any of the emcees that showed any appreciation or gratitude for this amazing place we get to call home. Except for one guitar instrumental during the laser show, there was not even one patriotic song played! For one day at least, couldn’t we have all agreed that the U.S.A. is a country to be appreciated and celebrated? Instead, we played Bohemian Rhapsody and many other songs that don’t have anything at all to do with the reason we gather on the 4th of July. I think we missed the point.

Linda Kaahanui
Port Hadlock

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Patricia Durbin
I wasn't able to attend this year's Old School 4th event, but I can certainly find agreement with what Linda has said. I went last year, and had similar thoughts. I have two memories of fantastic fourths, both long ago, and wonder what has become of our country when there is no acknowledgement of what it means to be an living in America. My best memory was the 1976 bicentennial when I organized a neighborhood block party in another state that enlisted my own and other neighborhood children to parade and replicate the famous painting of “Spirit of ‘76”. Ketchup served as the wound on the bandage depicted in the painting. Toy drums were resurrected from forgotten toy chests, a neighbor supplied the “fife”. A 13 star flag joined the parade. Another young girl was draped in a sheet, crowned with a tinfoil crown and held a book and a sparkler aloft to be the Statue of Liberty. My kids are all into their 50's now, but when we got together this 4th, they talked about that day and how much fun they had. It was a hidden history lesson for them that they didn’t recognize or appreciate until much later. The other fond memory was at the Hollywood Bowl a few years later. It began as an almost all Patriotic concert with lots of John Phillips Sousa and Aaron Copeland, ending with the 1812 Overture (not American, but effective non the less), with the fireworks perfectly timed to the music and complete with cannons. As Linda said, despite feelings about the current political climate, there is nothing wrong with celebrating this great country and the ideals for which it stands. I fear we aren’t teaching a lot of our young people about the lives that were sacrificed to give them what we all enjoy today. If they aren’t getting U.S. history, with all its good and bad as part of their education, then it’s up to parents to take up the gauntlet. An “Old School Fourth” would be a great place to start if it included more of the “Old School” music.
Sunday, July 14