Thanks for a great Fourth

There are things that happen so reliably that we are tempted to take them for granted, and think that they always have and always will happen. Yet reality belies that kind of complacency at this time in the United States. 

The Fourth of July is a good time to think hard about how things are going in our country, and how we would like them to go. We can find some comfort and inspiration in traditions we have each year at this time: fireworks, barbecues with family and friends, travel to the coast for boating or beach time, taking part in area celebrations or commemorations of our nation’s beginnings, the list can go on.

One of the most reliably inspirational and historical events in the Northwest Corner happens at the town Grove in Lakeville every Fourth of July that the weather cooperates. At midday, people of all ages gather to take a swim out to the rafts, share a picnic on the beach or under the trees, take part in or watch the kids’ games, have a fundraising (for EXTRAS after-school and summer child care program) hot dog and chips, and hear the Salisbury Band play from its invigorating repertoire. 

The best part of the day, though, especially this year, is local icon Lou Bucceri reciting the words of the Declaration of Independence, dressed in full period garb as Heman Allen (according to Wikipedia, [Feb. 23, 1779 – April 7, 1852] American lawyer, politician and ambassador from Colchester, Vt. He served as a U.S. representative and as America’s first minister plenipotentiary to Chile.) 

There is something about the evocative quality of having someone dress in the clothing of the past to read for the large crowd of revelers the words of the past that helped form our nation. This year, the weather was especially warm, yet Mr. Bucceri as Mr. Allen stood and delivered the words of revolutionary inspiration with power and emotion. He was in full regalia, while many of his audience were in bathing suits or shorts. He did not miss a beat.

And speaking of beats, the Salisbury Band played with equally inspirational vigor, creating a situation where foot-tapping was mandatory, not optional. These musicians, and the bandleader, were also in uniform, yet did not miss a beat themselves. 

Thank you to Lou Bucceri, Dave Bayersdorfer as emcee,  all the volunteers who cook, set up and clean up, and all the Salisbury Band members for creating another year of serious tradition enveloped by fun at the Lakeville Town Grove. Your community benefits from your dedication to continuing this annual celebration of Independence Day. Rest assured your hard work is not taken for granted, but rather ia greatly appreciated.