Celebrate Independence Day, Safely
LOTS OF INFORMATION -- INDEPENDENCE DAY MESSAGES AND SAFETY.
I along with millions of Americans will celebrate Independence Day on July 4TH. I hope all will pause, reflect and give thanks to our Creator for bestowing to us this great country. But freedom is not free. I suggest readers research what happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence. All lost their fortunes, some were executed, families persecuted and destroyed, and more. They gave their all to provide us with the freedoms we enjoy today.
So did the hundreds of thousands that have lost their lives in all of America’s wars since the Revolutionary War, including those that are serving and protecting us in today’s wars.
But I want to address the Korean War. It was first dubbed a “POLICE ACTION” by President Truman, then “THE FORGOTTEN WAR”, I think in Life Magazine. And it was truly forgotten. Nothing much was written about it. It wasn’t taught in our schools. It was even forgotten by those who participated in it. But we must NOT forget any longer the 37k+ men and women who were Killed-in-Action (KIA) or were Prisoners-of-War (POW) in that long ago and “FORGOTTEN WAR.”
The South Carolina General Assembly passed a Resolution designating July 27, the Korean War Veterans Day. Greenville County Council will do the same. July 27, 1953 the truce between North and South Korea was signed. The War was extremely costly. In addition to the KIA’s and POW’s, 103k Americans were wounded and an untold number suffered cold weather injuries. NO, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.
These men and women stepped up when needed and now its decades past the time when we should have stepped up and did something that would have ensured that these men and women would not be forgotten any longer. We didn’t but now we have an opportunity to rectify that oversight.
A WALL OF REMEMBRANCE has been approved by Congress that will be located at the site of the Korean War Memorial n Washington, D. C. The Wall will have the names of these individuals engraved in it, thus ensuring their legacy. The Foothills Chapter #301 Fund-raising Committee is raising funds for the SC 576 residents who lost their lives in the Korean War. Laurens County had 11. Laurens had 5, Clinton had 3, Dials Township had 1, Gray Court had 1, and Waterloo had 1.
From now thru July 27, 2019 (Truce Day) we will be out making a push to raise the $83k needed to complete our goal. Please open your hearts and pocketbooks and donate to this most worthy cause.
The cost is $350.00 per name. The goal for SC’s 576 names is $200k. We have raised $117k thus far. Tax deductible donations of any amount are appreciated. Make checks payable to: KWVA FOOTHILLS CHAPTER #301. In the “FOR” area write “WOR” or WALL OF REMEMBRANCE. Mail them to: KWVA Foothills Chapter #301, Fundraising Committee, P. O. Box 6903, Greenville, SC 29606-6903.
We are requesting all news media to help us raise awareness for this project.
Lewis Vaughn, SC Sen., Ret.
623 Ashley Commons, Ct.
Greer, South Carolina 29651
State Fire Marshal Offers Fireworks Safety Tips
The Fourth of July holiday is just a day away and the South Carolina State Fire Marshal is reminding citizens to think of safety first if participating in any fireworks activities.
“This national holiday is a busy one for fireworks – and fires,” State Fire Marshal Jonathan Jones said. “You cannot take safety for granted when it comes to fireworks. We want everyone to have fun, but safety precautions must come first.”
South Carolina law prohibits fireworks from being sold to anyone younger than 16 years old. For those choosing to use consumer fireworks, the State Fire Marshal suggests these safety tips:
Observe local laws. If unsure whether it is legal to use fireworks, check with local officials.
Observe local weather conditions. Dry weather can make it easier for fireworks to start a fire.
Buy from permitted fireworks retailers.
Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.
Use common sense. Always read and follow the directions on each firework.
Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees.
Ensure people and pets are out of range before lighting fireworks.
Light one firework at a time and keep a safe distance.
Put used fireworks in a bucket of water; keep a garden hose on hand.
Point or throw fireworks at another person.
Re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.
Experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.
Give fireworks to small children.
Carry fireworks in your pocket.
Shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
Place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
“There are hundreds of permitted professional fireworks displays available to South Carolinians to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday,” Jones said. “Residents can consult their local fire officials for firework displays in their area.”
Communities that Work Together, Win Together
(An Independence Day Reminder)
By Quint Studer
Freedom, independence, self-sufficiency: these are great and glorious concepts. We celebrate them this time of year, whether we process it that way or not, because they're so deeply engrained in our image of America. We see ourselves as a nation of rugged individualists: seizing the bull by the horns, charting our own course, walking alone into the forest with an axe slung over our shoulder.
Yes, it's a romantic notion. But it's not an accurate one. America is a nation of small, tight-knit communities and always has been. The more we cooperate, share, defer to others, and work together, the more successful we are.
I spend my days traveling from one American community to another. Some are bustling larger cities. Others are quiet small towns. What they all have in common is the burning desire to revitalize themselves: to become more vibrant, prosperous, livable, and loveable than they are right now. And as I work with these diverse groups of Americans, I see a theme emerge: Those communities that work together, win together.
When citizens and leaders come together, put their self-interest on the back burner and work as a team, things get done. When they don't, nothing gets done.
The more you think about the myth of the self-reliant early American, the less likely it seems. Our ancestors must have huddled together in small groups and worked to protect each other from a harsh and unforgiving environment. They must have joined forces, shared what they had, and leaned on each other when times were tough.
And on the larger stage, our nation's founders had to work together in a similar fashion to bring America into being. They were working toward independence as a new nation, but they had to rely on interdependence to get there. And as leaders of communities of all shapes and sizes and demographics and political persuasions, we can all learn a lot from them.
Here are four big "history lessons" we should all heed as we seek to move our communities toward vibrancy:
Set aside your self-interest and create something that works for everyone. Lots of different professions, industries, and interests were present at the birth of America. Cabinet makers weren't fixated only on the wood industry, nor silver smiths on the silver trade. Everyone was fired up to contribute to something bigger than themselves. They bought into the overarching mission, and weren't bogged down by endless debate over the short-term costs of their plan.
In other words, don't be overly concerned with your own wellbeing. Setting aside your own short-term best interests may accomplish far more for everyone in the long run. Because a rising tide lifts all boats, this includes you.
Don't let ideological differences stop you from achieving something tangible. Despite bitter disputes and differences of opinion, a group of people with little in common other than their shared determination that change was needed were able to get mobilized and get something done. While there was much to be decided about the way things would function in the new nation, they all recognized that there wouldn't even BE a new nation if they didn't set aside their disagreements and move the ball down the court.
It's important to know what matters. Don't let petty disputes about how things should get done sabotage the greater task at hand.
Don't be constantly trying to steal the spotlight from each other. It's okay to let someone else be "the one in charge." No one complained that John Hancock's signature was bigger than theirs, or that so-and-so got to sign the Declaration before they did. (Okay, it's possible, but we can see by the document that resides in the National Archives that it got done anyway!) The founders kept their focus on the ambitious mission/vision of standing up to one of the most powerful authorities in the world: the King of England.
When we try to make it about ourselves, we can get off track and let our self-absorption derail the project or initiative. Keep the greater goal in mind and stay focused on that.
Don't wait on the government to "fix it." Instead, join together and take bold action at the local level. The changes desired by American colonists weren't coming from Great Britain. And so, in the summer of 1776 delegates from each of the Thirteen Colonies took it upon themselves to challenge British authorities and make change happen—their way.
Citizen-powered change is the most powerful change. If it's to be, it's up to you and me, not government agencies. (Local governments tend not to have the budget to drive fundamental change, and due to election cycles, officials come and go. Many won't be around to see long term projects through.)
Yes, early communities needed each other and that drove a lot of their interactions. We went through a period of time where we started to believe we didn't need each other and that clearly isn't true. We now realize that working together is the only way we can make our cities and towns thrive.
No one is saying America's founders were perfect. They were far from it, as we are. But one thing they got right was the knowledge that they needed to work together for a common cause. Teamwork is a powerful force. We couldn't have built a nation without it, and we can't build a better community without it either.
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Quint Studer is the author of Building a Vibrant Community: How Citizen-Powered Change Is Reshaping America and founder of Pensacola's Studer Community Institute. For more information, visit www.vibrantcommunityblueprint.com and www.studeri.org.
Red Cross Shares How to Have a Safe Fourth of July;
Asks for Blood Donations Around the Holiday
North Charleston, S.C., July 2, 2019– The Fourth of July holiday will soon be here and many of us will enjoy the outdoors, watch fireworks or host a family picnic. The Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross wants everyone to enjoy their holiday and offers safety steps they can follow.
“The Independence Day Holiday is a great time for summer fun and we want to make sure everyone stays safe during their celebration,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer, Palmetto SC Region. “It’s also a time when the number of people giving blood decreases, but the need for blood donations continues. We are also asking that everyone consider giving blood over the holiday.”
HAVE A SAFE FOURTH OF JULY
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Many states outlaw most fireworks. Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks. If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps:
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross Emergency App can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
Blood donations often drop around Independence Day due to fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives, and this year is no exception. With many donors on vacation, blood drive sponsors will not be hosting as many blood drives at their place of work, worship or community gathering. Hundreds of fewer blood drives are held the week of July 4 than an average week.
The Red Cross is urging those who have never donated blood or platelets, as well as current donors, to make a donation appointment now and help sustain a sufficient blood supply this summer. To encourage donations around the July Fourth holiday, those who come to give blood or platelets from July 2 – July 7 will receive a special edition Red Cross T-shirt as a special thank you, while supplies last.
About the American Red Cross: