Flags, Family and Freedom

By Kathy Knotts

How will you spend your long holiday weekend? Will you be having friends and family over for a cookout and then heading to an area fireworks display? I hope so, as they are back and better than ever this year. I know I missed the lights and booms over the last couple of years—although my dog hates me admitting that. 

As a child I loved going down to the fireworks display in my hometown. We would line up along the levees of the Red River—the luckiest ones had truck beds to lay down in—and crane our necks to watch this miracle of gunpowder and chemistry. This was long before pyrotechnics got fancy with their musical theatrics and microchip timing. I think we just tuned into a local radio station that played patriotic music while the show unwound.

Chesapeake Country is blessed to have so many opportunities to see these patriotic displays in the sky. If you can get on the water to watch, I hear it is a view unlike any other. (Just remember, there are those among us, pets and people, who hate the noise, so be mindful of the hour and your proximity to homes!)

It’s the highlight of summer, when we head outdoors and join our neighbors in community parades and picnics, spending the day at the pool or the beach. Many of us will travel, thanks to the holiday falling on a Monday. I plan to visit family I missed seeing at my son’s graduation because I fell victim to that nasty virus on the very same week. 

Independence Day is special. It’s a time for us to remember just how blessed we are to live in this land of the free and home of the brave. We need to continue to work to protect those freedoms.

Gov. Hogan proclaimed June 28 as Freedom of the Press Day in Maryland, in memory of the five Capital Gazette staffers who were murdered four years ago. Tuesday, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County officials, families and friends placed a wreath at the small park dedicated to their memory, known as the Guardians of the First Amendment Memorial. 

The proclamation states, “Whereas, The Founding Fathers of the United States recognized the vital importance of a free press to uphold the nation’s democracy through the inclusion of the right to a free press in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America; and Whereas, Other nations throughout the world do not enjoy this right…”, and it goes on to name Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters, the five people killed in the Annapolis newsroom. While we may not have been working in the same buildings under the same company name, the CBM Bay Weekly staff considers them our colleagues and mourns them, too. 

Thank you for supporting our local press, by picking up this paper or reading us online. We love hearing from you and I hope you will thank those local businesses that advertise in our pages or distribute our print version each week. 

Kathy Knotts is managing editor of CBM Bay Weekly. Reach her at [email protected].