In Edmonds, we have several fabulous celebrations every year, many produced by the Chamber of Commerce, others by Rotary, the Edmonds Arts Festival and even the City through our Parks and Police Departments. We value these celebrations knowing they help bring our community closer together and keep us in touch with one another.
Several of the celebrations are completely local in origin such as A Taste of Edmonds, Waterfront Festival and the Edmonds Arts Festival. Other celebrations are nationally celebrated with our local character added, such as the December holidays with the Tree Lighting Ceremony and the 4th of July with Parade and Fireworks.
For me, the 4th of July has a very special meaning and should for all of us. While we celebrate the day as we should, with parades, barbecues, family time and fireworks, we all know the day holds deeper meaning.
July 4th is the day we accept to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The day in 1776 we told England we were ready to pursue our own very important direction. It is the day we began to create a new nation. It is the day the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the documents (actually July 2nd). It is the day 56 citizens from 13 states signed their names to the Declaration, knowing with their action, they could be arrested, charged with treason and put to death. All knew they were taking tremendous risk, but were firmly convinced their direction was true.
Oh yes, there were the familiar names; Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and Hancock, (sorry, Washington was not a signer), but also many lesser-known leaders who signed the document that would shape this young country for generations to come. We are forever indebted to these 56 and I hope we all take time to reflect on the courage and commitment they and others showed during the entire Revolution. It was a gift we will always celebrate and treasure.
We are all fortunate to live in this great country and we in Edmonds are extra blessed. I hope you will come out and enjoy our local “an Edmonds Kind of 4th” celebration. With its fun run, children’s parade, main parade, festivities at City Park, and the always spectacular fireworks show in the evening, it’s a great way to celebrate the day and reflect on our past.
P.S. Irony of ironies, arch rivals John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4th, 1826, Jefferson just hours before Adams.