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Talking it over: July 4th traditions

The Fourth of July celebration in Hancock is a long-standing tradition. It has been celebrated here for decades with only a few lapses when for various reasons the festivities were suspended. Each time it was not held, we had people almost beg for it to be reinstated.

The Hancock Lions have hosted the event now for a number of years and have done an excellent job. I salute and thank each member who has worked hard before, during and after the celebration. There are also many other groups who contribute a great deal to the day  and  help create a variety of activities with something to meet nearly every interest. The 5K Run/Walk, Tractor Pull, Carnival, Kiddie Parade, Grand Parade, programs, games and fireworks all add so much.

Many families also have their own traditions on the fourth. There are reunions, picnics, ballgames and other fun events being held in many backyards or parks. I recall my dad’s family getting together every fourth for a family reunion in my grandmother’s yard. It was located near the Christian Reformed Church where we also attended the many traditional activities there such as a program in the morning, potluck dinner and games in the afternoon.

We always had to go home shortly after the parade so my dad could milk the cows but before we left town, Mom made sure we left one vehicle parked at the ballpark so we would have a place to sit and watch the fireworks at night. It was fun to spread out a blanket and wait for dark only to have mosquitoes force us into those vehicles where we could watch with less slapping and scratching.

When we look back over the years we can recall many hardworking individuals who helped make the July Fourth enjoyable year after year. Some of these people are the same ones who can now sit back and enjoy the efforts of others. They deserve to have the celebration continue as a tribute to their past dedication.

They have taught us, through their example, what it means to pass on a tradition for so many years. It is now our job to set this same example for future generations. Just remember that some day all those who work hard during the 4th will be able to also sit back and enjoy the work of others.