News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, JULY 2, 2006


City’s Spirit of America has real July 4 flavor

For 40 years now, Decatur's Spirit of America has been a showcase for demonstrating that freedom burns brightly in the hearts and minds of our nation's people.

Started as a way to show support for American troops fighting in Vietnam, the Spirit celebration continues its tradition of unabashed red, white and blue patriotism this year.

Activities actually began Saturday and will go on through Tuesday. By the time the last mega fireworks go off, thousands of people will have visited Point Mallard Park to participate in our nation's birthday party.

Organizers always manage to capture the true spirit of America. War hero Capt. William E. Hogan of Huntsville is this year's Audie Murphy Patriotism Award recipient. Like the war in Iraq today, his war, the Vietnam War, divided the country. Like some of today's warriors, he had multiple tours of duty.

He hasn't forgotten what it was like to go to war or to come home from war. "He's helped organize almost every soldier's deployment and welcome-home ceremony in North Alabama," said David Carney, co-chairman of VIP awards this year.

Thus, Spirit of America stays true to its calling while providing a rip-roaring good time for people of all ages.

Let the party continue!

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