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EDITOR'S NOTE: The photo essay by Community Editor Shanna Fortier can be found by clicking on the following links. Below the links, you will find an introduction by Managing Editor Brian McMillan.
CELEBRATE AMERICA: Baseball
CELEBRATE AMERICA: Soldiers
CELEBRATE AMERICA: Santore & Sons
CELEBRATE AMERICA: Firefighter kids
Celebrate independence with a question mark
“The Star Spangled Banner” has four verses to it, but most of us only ever sing the first. That first verse makes for an odd national anthem because it ends not in a triumphant declaration, but in a question: After a long night of war, does the star spangled banner still wave?
The uncertainty represented by that question mark is not an uncommon sentiment in our history. Shortly after the Constitution was written, a lady asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government we were to have. He answered with an overtone of doubt about the viability of this grand experiment: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Abraham Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg is a tribute to soldiers who sacrificed their lives, but it is also a reflection of the president's anxiety as to whether any nation founded on liberty “can long endure.”
Today, 236 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, it’s safe to say the experiment is a success. But as families and friends share meals and hopefully laugh a lot this Fourth of July, and then gather under the stars to cheer for the red glare of fireworks on the waves of Flagler Beach, it is fitting and proper to keep a question mark at the center of our celebrations.
Have we become too cynical as a people? Are we still willing to sacrifice for our great nation? Do we still believe in the American dream? Are we doing all we can to leave the next generation better off than we were?
Shanna Fortier has created a photo essay that invites meditation on these questions. If you turn the page, you will find beauty and innocence embodied by our national pastime, as it is enjoyed by the young people of Flagler County.
On Pages 6 and 7 you’ll find scenes of Palm Coast families who are living with portraits of soldiers, rather than with their fathers, husbands and sons in the flesh. May these soldiers return safely, and, regardless of politics, may we honor soldiers and their families alike for being willing to sacrifice all.
Next is a story of a family business that started more than 100 years ago. Consider the hard times that must have been overcome in the history of that business. We can all learn something from their determination and survival instincts as we chase our own American dreams.
And finally, we return to the scene that was introduced by the cover shot. These sons of firefighters wake up every day with perfect faith that they’ll be protected and loved.
Are the rest of us also prepared to reward their faith? Will their United States of America remain brave and free?
Currently 1 Response
- These pictures are great! I'd love to see in-depth stories on all of them, especially the Santore's. Fascinating!
24 The Lion in Winter
25 Pig Roast & Membership Drive
2:00 pm - 6:00 am
25 Jam Session in the Park
Cuddle up: Moose lodges donate dolls for children
This spring, Palm Coast Moose Lodge 2577 donated a box of 12 Tommy Moose dolls to bring comfort to children in times of stress, uncertainty or anxiety.
High School students donate to breast cancer patients
The Flagler Palm Coast High School Future Business Leaders of America class donated $580 to Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation’s breast cancer fund, which provides screening mammograms, diagnostic studies and education to local qualified women who are uninsured and seeking assistance.
Florida Hospital Flagler gives $2,000 in scholarships
Florida Hospital Flagler's medical staff donated $2,000 in scholarships to four graduating high school students.