It begins on the last Monday in the month of May, with the Memorial Day remembrance. Having its origin in the period immediately following the Civil War, it is a day set aside to honor the memory of those who have given their lives in service to our country, on the field of battle.
The final event comes Nov. 11, with the Veteran’s Day remembrance of all those who have worn the uniform of our country. Originally called Armistice Day, it was a celebration of the end of the First World War, that concluded with the signing of the Armistice, which went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Following the end of World War II, the name was changed to Veterans Day and the purpose redefined as honoring all veterans of all wars.
Though not a major patriotic holiday, we do celebrate Flag Day on June 14. Established 96 years ago, in remembrance of the adoption of the flag on June 14, 1777, Flag Day has never received major recognition. It is a special holiday to me because of my lifetime love affair with our flag. Unfortunately, it is not celebrated as a national holiday and only Pennsylvania recognizes it as a state holiday.
On July 4 we celebrate Independence Day, a celebration of the anniversary of the birth of our country. It is, by virtue of its age, its history and the significance placed on it, the most prominent of the three major patriotic holidays.
By far, the most widely and enthusiastically celebrated, July Fourth is a sound and feeling heard and felt across the width and breadth of this great nation. Here in Cobb, we take a back seat to nobody when it comes to Independence Day celebrations, with major events in Kennesaw, Acworth and Powder Springs. Marietta also has its share with the Fourth in the Park, the Marlow House Celebration and The Great American Family Picnic hosted by the Marietta first United Methodist Church.
But nowhere is the Fourth celebrated with more exuberance, more beauty and more tradition than the Marietta Independence Day Parade. As in the past, the line-up for this year’s parade promises an exciting and inspiring time for those observing it, as well as those participating in it.
If you are one of the observers, you will see a tall, clean cut young man and a beautiful young lady carrying a banner promoting the third annual Run for Wounded Warriors, coming Aug. 4 in Kennesaw. If you look closely, you will see yours truly along with some other folks walking with them in support of the run. The young lady is Miss Kattie Rankin, the object of the affections of the young man, Jon Borden.
The Run is the inspiration of young Borden, coming a few years ago as the result of watching a TV program about the Wounded Warriors Project. He comes from a family steeped in military tradition, His father, David, a retired Navy pilot, is one of those rare folks who enjoy being catapulted off the deck of a ship, at over a 100 mph, riding a flaming rocket engine, then landing that same craft, at over 100 mph on the pitching deck of that ship — at night. It has been said that the very best carrier landing is little more than a controlled crash.
For the third year, Jon, David, Jon’s mom, Barbara, and the rest of the Borden family (no relation to this Borden, I am sad to say), are gearing up for the run. The first year, 400 runners raised $2,000. Last year, it attracted over 1,200 runners. This year they are anticipating 2,000 runners, and hoping to top last year’s fund raising, which produced $10,000.
If you are an American and love this country, please find a way to remember on this July Fourth. It is much more than a day off work.
Happy Birthday to the United States of America!
Pete Borden is a retired masonry contractor in east Cobb.