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Kudos to the Fourth of July Parade crew

Posted: July 9, 2009 4:12 p.m.
Updated: July 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.
I would like to thank the Santa Clarita Parade Committee for the wonderful job they perform in organizing the annual Fourth of July event.

It is important to involve our community in an American tradition. The organizations which choose to enter the parade provide a valuable service in maintaining a civil society.

In a recent Signal commentary, Tim Myers suggested a test for measuring patriotism by counting the times one has participated in the Fourth of July parade. I am thus “insane,” having participated three times. I suggest a different standard: How does the community respond to an entry with a patriotic message?  

From the time I suggested entering a float vehicle this year with an “American Values” theme based upon the inscriptions on every coin (Liberty, In God We Trust and E Pluribus Unum), I was inspired by those who heard about it.

A local printer, an immigrant from India, offered to print our banners at cost. Friends donated funds to assure a professional image. Three organizations — the Young Marines, Prayer Angels and Blue Star Mothers — joined the effort.

On parade day, many people walked the route handing out nickels. One of these is a recent double amputee who drove his wheelchair the entire route with his family. I had the  pleasure of imparting our American Values message with a PA system playing patriotic music.

I was awed by the positive crowd response — people rose from their chairs, clapped and shouted support — and in a memorable display of reverence, removed their caps and placed their hands over their hearts. The sea of red, white and blue worn by attendees was a sight I will never forget. In a world in which patriotism is considered quaint, and the word "values" seems to cause strife, I declare patriotism alive and well in Santa Clarita!  

Tim Myers lamented that the day can be hot, the parade long, the entries “cheesy” and participation based upon personal aggrandizement.

I reflect upon the last sentence of the Declaration of Independence where our Founding Fathers pledged to each other their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to secure the blessings of liberty.

More than 200 years later, a lot of people are willing to endure personal discomfort, volunteer their time and donate  money to help secure freedom for a new generation.

Please make it a point to attend or participate in the parade next year.


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