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Celebrating our nation's independence

June 30, 2010 | 07:29 AM
The Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, fireworks and the American flag serve as the symbols of our freedom. Each year, on the Fourth of July, as we celebrate that freedom, it is important to remember the history of our nation and reflect on its past.

The United States of America gained its independence from Britain following many bloody battles waged during the War of Independence, which culminated with the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife, stating, "This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival." It is amazing that on the very day they approved the Declaration of Independence, Adams was already foreseeing the great celebration of our Nation each year on July 4.

America's birthday has been celebrated with parades, picnics and fireworks since the early 1800's — a tradition we still practice today. In our area, festivities this year kick off on Sunday, June 27 in Eagle, with the Kettle Moraine annual Independence Day parade at noon, followed by Hartland's Independence Day parade at 1:30 p.m. On Friday, July 2, a number of events are planned, including the Palmyra Chamber Street Dance, the Star-Spangled Celebration and Holton-Elkhorn Band Concert at Sunset Park in Elkhorn and fireworks at Lake Nagawicka, East Troy and Elkhorn at dusk.

On Saturday, July 3, the celebration continues with the Williams Bay Lions Pancake Day at Edgewater Park, the Walworth County Farmers Market in Elkhorn and the Fontana Fourth Fest at Reid Park (both Saturday and Sunday). The Stone Bank Lions Festival parade will be held at 11 a.m., followed by the city of Oconomowoc parade at 4 p.m. Okauchee Lake will have a Venetian Night lighted boat parade before the fireworks display, and Oconomowoc and Delavan Lake (town of Delavan) will also have fireworks on Saturday.

On Sunday, July 4, the Sharon Independence Day Parade steps off at 11 a.m., the Pell Lake/ Bloomfield Parade is at noon, the East Troy parade at 1 p.m., and finally, the Delavan Parade starts at 3 p.m. The city of Delavan will hold the Let Freedom Ring celebration, and at dusk, there will be fireworks displays at the Grand Geneva in Lake Geneva, the city of Delavan, Oconomowoc Lake and the village of Fontana.

While this is just a sample of the events occurring in our communities, I hope it has inspired you to spend time celebrating our country's birth. As for me, I'll be in parades in Oconomowoc, Hartland, Sharon, Pell Lake/Bloomfield and Delavan, as well as taking in the fun at various events throughout the district. Even if you do not attend, I hope you take a moment during the long weekend to think about all the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Have a wonderful Fourth of July.

Kedzie can be reached in Madison at P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI, 53707-7882 or by calling toll-free (800) 578-1457. He may be reached in the district at (262) 742-2025 or online at www.senatorkedzie.com.

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