What do you remember about July 4th celebrations? by Dave Werner, Prairie Point resident
In the July 2nd WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL Eric Frydenlund’s guest editorial was about having and developing and cherishing a sense of community. Here are some paragraphs from that article.
This is community. The definition rises from conversations about our overlapping lives that happen in ballparks, grocery store isles, on street corners, or in post office lobbies. The definition has little to do with geography, highway population signs or street maps. It has nothing to do with boundaries — municipal or political.
Community cannot be measured solely by what we receive from this collection of humanity — though that is plentiful — rather by what we give. And what we give cannot be measured in property taxes and utility bills. We measure community in human terms. The sacrifice of veterans, the contributions of service clubs, the generosity of churches, and the collegiality of social conversation represent the currency of community. The essence of community lives in the spaces between us and the generous spirit we offer to fill the void.
Astronauts have reported the view from space changed their perspective of humanity.
“You see continents and countries without any political borders,” astronaut Scott Kelly said. “It gives you the impression that we’re all in this thing called humanity together.”
Perhaps the view from space represents an idealized perspective.
In the same way we cannot see the bases in Eastman ballpark from space, we fail to recognize the very real differences in culture and political perspective between countries and people from such a great distance.
So too, we fail to see the social fabric of society from space, knit together by relationships formed in both the rending force of adversity and the unifying bonds of community.
<end>end of quote from the editorial.
The neighborhood parade today, led by a fire truck, happens year after year around here. I had not gone over to watch it until today. Thanks to a number of neighbors—chiefly Betty Ptacek—I took my camera to see if I could get pictures. I knew that some Pointers would be in the parade, and that was most intriguing.
So Prairie Point contributed bikers and hikers and riders to the Junction Ridge Neighborhood Association July 4th parade. We even had a three-generation family participating (or so I was told).
I wasn’t in the parade, but watching it brought back that anticipatory anxiety of a high school band member as the band gathered at the school, wrestled on the heavy ‘way-too-warm uniforms, and jostled into our best imitation of a marching band ready to go. Between my memory and waiting for this local parade, my heart rate edged up a bit.
So what do you remember about July 4th activities or other summer parades and events? And community: how do you understand community? Eric Frydenlund writes, “The essence of community lives in the spaces between us….” We need to explore those spaces!