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Johnson: Find a way to celebrate independence

Fourth of July celebrations will look very different this year, but I hope you have found ways to enjoy the holiday.  Although we are restricted in many ways right now, we are fortunate to have the freedoms that were fought for so many years ago. This is a time for reflecting on the history of our nation and being grateful even when times are difficult.

The following description by an unknown author was written about the Independence Day festivities of the 1870’s in George Hormel’s childhood home of Toledo, Ohio.

“These were the days of intense patriotism, lots of firecrackers and noise, particularly on the Fourth of July. The approaching centennial was much talked about and Toledo was for several days gaily decked with flags and filled with visiting bands from nearby smaller towns. Martial fife and drum corps, singfests, parades, fairs and picnics built around an ideal of home, patriotism, God and the church, formed one of the most lasting inspirational facets in the life of the growing Hormel family, and particularly in the life of George Hormel.”

In his autobiography, “The Open Road,” George wrote of Independence Day in Chicago. 

“As the Fourth of July drew near and Chicago prepared to celebrate, its streets and buildings broke out in a rash of red, white, and blue. Men stopped strangers in the street, inviting them to drink to the country’s health. They slapped each other on the back. ‘Yes, Sir, she’s a great country,’ they said ‘worth fighting and working for.’

“Truly, there seemed to be a magic solvent in the words ‘liberty and justice for all,’ more powerful than any prejudice a man might have against his neighbor. And, listening to the people on the streets, in my uncle’s market, in the yards, it seemed that men still believed in this magic, despite misunderstanding, grinding poverty, and grueling work.”

Despite all the issues we face daily in the United States of America, this weekend is a time to embrace your neighbor, figuratively speaking, and find the common bond of living together in this nation.  Let’s celebrate what we have, and rise up as one people and be kind.  It will do us all some good.

Upcoming Events

Music @ the Mansion

Monday, July 6

Patchouli

7 p.m. FREE

Please bring your own chair and be prepared to social distance.

Hump Day History

Wednesday, July 8

12 p.m.

Marcusen Park

Presented free on Facebook Live.