Many reasons to be thankful this patriotic holiday

NAPPANEE—People lining the streets for the annual Fourth of July parade shared many different freedoms for which they are thankful. These ranged from traditional patriotic views to everyday liberties not granted in many other nations.
Based on what she has learned in school, Lillian Hughes, age 10, said she understood not everyone in the world was able to live like the people in the United States of America.
When asked what the Fourth of July meant to her Lillian Hughes replied, “freedom and independence.”
The young scholar’s father, Gary Hughes, Nappanee, voiced appreciation of freedom in his role as a parent.
“I’m thankful to be able to raise my children in a free world where I’m not told how to do it, or persecuted,” said Hughes. “We have our freedom, our way of life … it’s just really the American dream.”
Nappanee-native Gina (Culp) Baer, who now resides in Virginia Beach, Va., was back home to visit family. For her, a boat captain for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering, the holiday meaningful for many different reasons.
Baer said she is thankful for all her liberties but takes special pride in her freedom of speech, and her right to be a woman in the workforce.
Baer recognized that in many other countries she would not be allowed to work outside the home.
The boat captain also knows she would not have been permitted to hold a position of authority in many of the countries that do allow women workers.
For Baer the holiday also held special meaning because she was able to traveled back to her hometown to spend time with her family and reconnect with former classmates.
Following the parade the community spent the afternoon enjoying food and drink selections from vendors inside Stauffer Park, and cheering on teams during the Firemen’s Waterball Contest as they waited for evening fireworks.