We would ask everyone to take a moment during the next week or so to remember that there are few nations in the world where citizens are able to gather to celebrate the freedoms residents of the United States of America too often take for granted.
That's an important thought as our nation prepares to celebrate its 236th birthday on Wednesday.
The Fourth of July is a true national holiday, one that is celebrated in the smallest township to the largest city.
It's a day of picnics, family gatherings, parades and summer fun, all played out against the backdrop of the American flags and patriotic music, more often than not punctuated with fireworks.
Communities throughout the Tri-State Area are ready to celebrate, as a sampling of events indicates:
Wintersville will open the fireworks celebrations at 10 p.m. Saturday as the annual Thunder in the Ville comes to a close. The annual display will be set off from the Treasure Island Flea Market.
Steubenville's annual fireworks show is set to begin at approximately 9:45 p.m. Sunday at the conclusion of the Stars and Stripes Concert and Festival. The display will be set off from the hillside above Hollywood City Center near the Laurels Nursing Home. Activities begin at noon at the Harding practice facility and continue throughout out the day in the area around Hollywood City Center. Mount Pleasant's Joe Zelek takes to the stage in Harding Stadium at 7 p.m. , with the Clarks scheduled to play 8:15 p.m.
Wells Township's fireworks display is scheduled for dusk Tuesday at the Buckeye North Elementary School football field.
The Wheeling Symphony will make its annual stop in Weirton at 7 p.m. Tuesday when it performs at the Weirton Event Center.
Weirton's annual fireworks display is scheduled for approximately 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and will be launched downtown from behind the headquarters of the city's fire department. The display will cap a day of activities that include a parade at 10 a.m. and the annual Renaissance Weirton Summerfest.
Chester's fireworks display will be held at dusk on Wednesday.
Wellsburg's annual fireworks display is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Betty Carr Recreation Site, and will come at the end of a day of activities that will include a parade at 7 p.m.
McDonald, Pa., will celebrate with fireworks at dusk on Thursday at Heritage Park.
Toronto's fireworks extravaganza will go off at 10 p.m. July 7 at Clarke Hinkle Field, and will follow an 8 p.m. concert featuring the Community Band, the Word of Life Singers, the Vince Villanova Big Band and veteran guests.
The holiday is a reason to celebrate, but we would ask everyone to take a moment to remember the thousands of American men and women who are standing guard around the world as members of our armed forces. Their sacrifices and vigilance ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy the freedoms we do today.
Attend an Independence Day celebration.
Marvel at the fireworks.
Enjoy being an American.