Avon Celebrates Independence
Town gathers to read Declaration of Independence Sunday
A little rain never halted the American Revolution, and it wasn’t about to stop Avon residents from holding their annual Independence Day celebration on Sunday.
Inside the town’s borough building, locals gathered to hear a reading of the Declaration of Independence and recognize the 235 anniversary of our nation’s freedom at 6 p.m. The event was moved indoors due to a thunderstorm and heavy rain.
Reverend Cook of the Avon Baptist church led the opening prayer and gave a brief history lesson.
“The first prayer was said in Congress in 1774, even before the Declaration of Independence was written, as a request for protection by God from the British, who had laid siege on the colonists as punishment for the Boston Tea Party,” said Rev. Cook.
Freeholder Lillian Burry delivered a patriotic greeting and stressed the importance of celebrating, preserving and understanding history. Burry detailed the true meaning of the holiday.
“Patriotism, by definition, means a love for or devotion to one’s country, but it means more than that,” said Burry. “True patriots, like our Founding Fathers, are those with the unwavering belief that any and all oppression against individual rights is wrong.”
She encouraged guests to remember the ongoing struggle to keep America free, and instill a sense of duty as Americans.
“A true patriot is someone who is brave enough to stand up to his country when it has overstepped its bounds,” and someone who will sacrifice in order to “protect the freedoms we all enjoy,” said Burry.
Members of the Jersey Shore Girl and Boy Scouts led in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and a local band performed patriotic songs such as “America the Beautiful,” “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Avon residents Tim Gallagher, Rev. Cook, Vin Nappo, Danny Lee and Sam McLaughlin did the honor of delivering the Declaration of Independence to the crowd of locals donned in red, white and blue.
A Fourth of July contest and mini-parade for the youngsters in the crowd concluded the evening’s events. Prizes for most patriotic bicycle and wagon and best “Uncle Sam” costume were awarded.
This year’s event was coordinated by Maureen Hinman with help from volunteers.
“This event is so important. It’s a chance for residents to celebrate our country and remember what Independence Day is all about,” said volunteer Michele Darling.