"It Makes a Fella Proud"
As I sat on the rooftop of a building in downtown Sulphur Springs the other night, watching our Independence Day celebration, I couldn't help but feel a great pride well up in me as I heard the names of some 200 individuals being read over the PA system, who had given the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and particularly Hopkins County. Even though I did not know any of these people personally, I felt connected to them in some strange way. The names being read were those names of the individuals who had fearlessly served their nation in some branch of the military and now had their name honored by being engraved in the memorial wall being dedicated this night. Perhaps the connection came as I realized afresh and anew that it was because of the selfless acts of these people that we were able to celebrate this moment without any threat of being harassed, endangered or imprisoned. We were truly free to have a public gathering right smack dap in the heart of downtown! And furthermore, we were free to have a local Pastor offer up a prayer of blessing for the entire event. All of this was possible because somewhere back in history there was a group of men and women that made the decision to live beyond just themselves and make an investment that would transcend generations.
Not having lived in Hopkins County for very long, I was also very blessed to realize that there is currently a group of people still serving this community with the same selfless dedication as our forefathers. This is made very evident as you look upon the transformation that has occurred to the square of our county seat. It has become a landmark that will live well beyond our years. It makes a fella proud to think about all of the cooperative effort that had to go into seeing such a project come to life. I for one am very thankful that we have a group of civic leaders that are willing to work together so tirelessly to accomplish a task so monumental as the one that now stands for us to enjoy.
As I lingered on the rooftop following the dedication service, the excellent concert, and the terrific fireworks display, I once again felt proud to live in a community that has a group of people that are willing to do all of the work to make such an event happen. As everyone was making their way to the comfort of their homes, the work was still going on! Now I witnessed those who had volunteered to set up the stage, and booths and all the other things required to make the night successful disassembling the same. The job was not complete, there was more to be done. This made me realize that the work that the 200 plus veterans had done on our behalf during their lifetimes was not complete either---there is still more work to be done! It is up to us to see that if the freedoms that the war heroes helped purchase for us is still around for the generations that are following us, we too must be willing to live beyond ourselves today so that our children and grandchildren can benefit from the fruits of our labor. May we make every effort to do whatever it takes to keep America as the "land of the free and the home of the brave"! God Bless America and God Bless You and Your family!
Terry Bryan, A Proud American, Texan and resident of Hopkins County.
Happy 4th of July!!!