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A Summertime Celebration of Freedom

A Summertime Celebration of Freedom

Happy 244th birthday to the United States of America! We the People need to celebrate our Independence Day and all the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into making our Nation the light of liberty that shines around the world. The United States of America is the greatest example of freedom and democracy at work in the history of organized government. No other country’s citizens have enjoyed the opportunity for the quality of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness like Americans. We are truly blessed with individual freedoms to live our lives and express who we are, like no other nation.

As witnessed in recent days, you do not have to fear governmental persecution or worse for letting your feelings be known. This to the point where many Americans have crossed the line of peaceful protest. Can you imagine what would happen to these individuals in almost every other country in the world? I totally disagree with this lawlessness that could be classified as domestic terrorism. However, it’s worth noting that the tolerance toward individual rights being exhibited is truly historic in world history.

There is a reason our Nation is the destination for immigrants from around the world. Since the founding of America, people have been doing everything possible legally and illegally to immigrate and live within the boundaries of our great land.

Yes, our Nation might be currently going through some difficult times, but as long as we continue to work for the good and don’t stray away from what our Nation was founded on, we’ll be just fine. We will address these problems and issues becoming a stronger Nation. That is what Americans do.

A tip of my Red, White, and Blue Damn Proud to Be an American hat to the great people at Backyard Broadcasting. It’s hard to believe for 25 years they’ve been illuminating the night sky on the 4th of July. This while providing an all-American soundtrack to “Set the Night to Music.” Thank you to former owners, Paul Rothfus, Dan Farr, and now current owner Van Michael for their commitment to our community. There is just something unbelievably special about America, Fireworks, and Celebrating the 4th of July. They have enlightened this combination for all to see for a quarter-century.

Obviously, this year’s celebration will look a little different as it occurs in the Eastern End of Lycoming County. Let’s all embrace this as a positive. We are very fortunate with the year we’ve had even to have fireworks; most communities are not. This is a great opportunity for the community of Hughesville and the Lycoming County Fairgrounds Association to host the event. They are great people who have worked very hard to pull this off on short notice. Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter and Backyard owner Van Michael were put in a difficult spot, first when the event had to be moved out of downtown due to the COVID and then with the concern of American Bald Eagles and their disturbance for the show to go on near Penn College.

Both are great people trying to do what’s best, with a lot of factors to weigh-in. This is nothing to fret about for a year. I guarantee the fireworks, the downtown block party, and that amazingly large Stars and Stripes that fly over the event will be back at home next year. And yes, I do understand how disappointing it is to the folks in Williamsport and South Williamsport that have made this a special 4th of July tradition. Believe me, both Mayor Slaughter and Mr. Michael have what’s best for the community and environment in their hearts and minds.

Before moving on, I must give a shout out to Korean War Veteran Mr. Chuck Roan. Through his efforts, that ginormous American Flag became part of our 4th of July tradition. An Independence Day salute to you, Mr. Roan, for the amazing display of our Stars and Stripes.

Moving right along. A Red, White, and Blue Webb Weekly congratulations to Donna Chapman of Williamsport — winner of our Great American Cookout, summer prize pack. Donna wins a 4-burner stainless steel gas grill courtesy of the good folks at Elery Nau Hardware, a $50 gift card from Rupert’s Specialty Meats. You can’t go wrong there with anything Mikey and the ladies have to offer. And last but not least, $50 of cold beverages to wash that 4th of July picnic food down. This provided by my good friend Chet Ruth and the gang at Frosty Beverage. I’m all in on the Budweiser Folds of Honor promotion, Chet has plenty of cases. A special thank you to Lucas Hoover for helping me keep a running count on the contest. Lucas will be a South Side 5th grader this fall. He informed me 1,385 individuals entered this year’s contest.

Let’s all get out and about and enjoy Summertime in the West Branch Valley. We are also very blessed to call this little corner of God’s green Earth home. Let’s all be careful out there, especially those that will be testing out their pyrotechnician skills and setting off fireworks. With everything that has happened, I think it will be a record year for firework sales. Which means it could also be a record year for firework-related mishaps.

As always, if you’ve had a little bit too much celebrating, please do not drink and drive or mix that one too many with lighting off anything with a fuse.

Jim Webb

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