Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

July 6, 2014

Freedom, family and friends

Parade-goers express what July 4th means

EFFINGHAM — Ask 10 people what the Fourth of July means to them and you might get 10 different answers.

Such was the case on a gorgeous Friday afternoon, as the annual Fourth of July parade unfolded in Effingham.

But the underlying thought on almost everybody’s mind during the parade could be summed up in one word.

“Freedom,” said Larry Buhnerkempe of Teutopolis. “This day means a lot because of everything everybody has done for us.”

Buhnerkempe’s wife Lucille suggested that the United States had — in the 238 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed — developed a collective lifestyle that is the envy of those who live elsewhere.

“We’ve got freedom of speech and freedom of expression — freedoms that other countries would really like to have,” she said.

Robert Johnson of Effingham said it’s important to remember the roots of the Independence Day holiday.

“It’s about casting off the yoke of tyranny,” Johnson said.

The day was especially significant for those with family in military service.

“Independence is a big thing in our family,” said Chrissy Stout of Effingham. “Her (daughter Alexis) father and my brother are both retired from the military.”

Still others invoked Friday’s word of the day.

“My husband’s in the National Guard, so it’s about freedom for us,” said Vonda Hall of Hayti, Missouri, who was visiting relatives in the area.

Others said their focus was on family this weekend.

“For us, it’s about spending time with family and friends,” said Mandee Hirtzel of Effingham.

“And loving Mommy,” added daughter Elizabeth. The little girl quickly corrected herself.

“No, loving each other.”

Bill Grimes may be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.grimes@effinghamdaily news.com, or via Twitter @EDNBGrimes.

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