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Let freedom — and love — ring

Saturday is the Fourth of July. It’s a day for Americans to celebrate freedom and show their love for their country and the rights it grants all citizens.

In Boulder City, residents know how to celebrate. It’s a daylong “Damboree” good time for people of all ages.

Festivities begin in the early hours as members of the Rotary Club of Boulder City serve a traditional pancake breakfast.

It’s a time for families to begin the day together and for friends to meet up and make plans for the remainder of the day.

The breakfast is free to all — continuing with the day’s theme of freedom — although donations are welcome and greatly appreciated. Any money raised by the club goes directly back to the community.

For those who enjoy sleeping in a bit, the day doesn’t begin until 9 a.m. when the annual parade kicks off. The 67th annual event travels through the city’s historic district, and about 100 participants are expected.

One of the unique aspects of the parade is its water zone. There parade participants and spectators face off in one of the greatest water fights in history. And with the record-breaking temperatures we have been having, I’m sure that will be a very popular area this year.

Old-fashioned fun and games follow in Broadbent Park and this year’s activities are truly taking the city’s heritage into consideration.

No Fourth of July celebration would be complete without fireworks. Boulder City’s display is presented in Veterans’ Memorial Park around 9 p.m., after more fun and games.

Our very informal poll showed that fireworks were overwhelmingly residents’ favorite part of the Damboree.

It could be because fireworks are a long-standing tradition. They have been used to mark our independence since 1777 — a few years before the Revolutionary War was even won.

According to the Smithsonian organization, Philadelphia sponsored a fireworks display, setting off 13 to start and end the celebration, as did Boston.

The fireworks fulfilled a legacy that John Adams wrote about in a July 3, 1776, letter to his wife about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He said it should be a “great anniversary Festival” and “solemnized with Pomp and Parade, Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations, from one End of this Continent to the other, from this Time forward forever more.”

Boulder City’s celebration certainly follows his desire.

Adams was a staunch believer in the fight for independence. He knew that Americans weren’t receiving the freedoms and rights they deserved.

Among the provisions of the Declaration of Independence was granting Americans certain “inalienable rights,” among them “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

As our nation celebrates these rights, it seems fitting that the Supreme Court — just days before Independence Day — legalized gay marriage.

Being in love, and celebrating that love through marriage, is certainly one way to be happy.

According to Psychology Today, there have been at least 18 studies that have proved that married people are happier and live longer. Why should someone’s sexual preference deny them that inalienable right of happiness?

Justice Anthony Kennedy, in his opinion for the majority, wrote, “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Being able to express your love is one of the freedom’s our forefathers fought so dearly for. They gave their lives for it.

So on this Fourth of July, let freedom — and love — ring for all.

No parade passes us by

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Time too precious to squander

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