Independence Day in a Small Town

By Officer David Brown

Maybe it is the memory of Norman Rockwell’s paintings of small-town parades, or kids playing and waving flags, but this time of year seems to stir up something even in the most patriotic among us. For those of us who have been lucky enough to serve our community as a member of the Kernersville Police Department, it is a very special time.

It is the Fourth of July, Independence Day!

Kernersville citizens have always been proud of their town. As our officers patrol each day, we see that pride. People walking, running, out walking their dog, mowing the lawn, or just walking to the mailbox, nearly everyone throws up a hand and waves as we pass by. The support that simple gesture shows to our officers cannot be overstated. One of the things that makes policing in Kernersville so special is the support you show us.

This time of year is even more amazing. Pride in being an American can be seen throughout the town. American flags are flying everywhere, downtown businesses, churches, neighborhoods— those with much and those with very little. For many, it is a brand-new flag. Red, White, and Blue, bold colors, proudly waving. In others, the colors may not be as bold but faded and worn, but it is still there and with no less pride. It is more than just pieces of fabric with colors and thread, it is a symbol of “Us.” Whether we were born here or came here, we are Americans. This is our country, and this is our birthday.

The parade is always full of excitement. Hundreds of people, painted faces, dressed in red, white, and blue, lining the streets and waving their flags, cheering on as the floats, marching bands, and other participants pass by. The police and fire department honor guard lead the parade every year. Seeing men, women, and children stand and salute as the American flag passes by is a heartwarming site that cannot help but make one feel proud. Watching the excited children scurry to catch the candy being thrown from the floats calls to mind the memory of those Rockwell paintings.

Just because the parade ends, the celebrations are just beginning. Drive through any neighborhood and the smell of charcoal grills and barbecue pits cooking hamburgers, hot-dogs, and ribs permeates the air. Cars and trucks fill front yards and driveways as family and friends meet to celebrate and spend precious time together.

As our citizens know, our officers are still out on the streets, protecting them. Many bring food, drinks, and other treats to the department to show how much they appreciate us and want to ensure we are taken care of—just one more reason to be proud of our town.

As the evening comes, it is time for the grand finale—the fireworks. Neighbors, family, friends, and total strangers gather in parking lots, and front yards all around the area, looking for the best location to see the extravaganza. They sit in lawn chairs and blankets, play games, throw footballs, and enjoy being together. Our officers are there, manning their posts, securing the area, and ensuring everyone has a safe and memorable evening. The air is full of children laughing, people cheering, lighting their sparklers and bottle rockets.

At last, with the first flash and explosion in the sky, silence. Everyone stops, looks to the sky, sits back, and enjoys the show. No talking, only smiles, wonder, and amazement. People from all different walks of life, together in one place, with one focus—to celebrate the freedom we have as Americans!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *