Keep the reason in mind

Published 4:47 am Saturday, June 30, 2018

Our nation’s birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence, was ratified on July 4, 1776. Then, four days later, on July 8, the Liberty Bell hanging in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall was rung to summon the citizens to gather and listen as the new Declaration of Independence was read aloud to them.

That cherished old Liberty Bell, so named because of the inscription from Leviticus 25:10 which is engraved upon it, was rung to proclaim liberty throughout the new nation for all of the inhabitants thereof. The gathered citizens heard encouraging words from the Declaration of Independence, including, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

These words ring true as we prepare to celebrate the 242nd anniversary of our Declaration of Independence. As Washington Parish looks to our Fourth of July celebration, we are grateful for the privilege of living in our wonderful nation, state and parish. What a blessing it is to salute our flag, to recite our pledge of allegiance and to reflect on the many pleasures granted to us as citizens of this great nation.

Some parish churches are giving special recognition on July 1 to former and current members of the various branches of our military. This is a special time when all in attendance are able to express their sincere gratitude to those who have served. Bogalusa’s Fourth of July parade is also a special time of remembrance as parade riders and spectators salute our nation. Other special events throughout the parish, including fireworks displays, are all in honor of the founding of our nation and the men and women who have proudly served in the armed forces.

We should, and we will, celebrate. As we celebrate, let us always be mindful of having a safe Fourth of July experience. Whether driving, boating, swimming, shooting fireworks, cooking on the grill or engaging in other activities, always be mindful of the safety of all who are in your company. Remember to never operate a motor vehicle or boat if you have consumed any amount of alcohol and to always provide adult supervision when children use fireworks.

It is my desire that each and every resident and visitor in our parish enjoys a fun and safe Fourth of July celebration. Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies will be patrolling throughout the parish and are always available to assist you. We can be reached day and night at 985-839-3434.

Randy Seal is the sheriff of Washington Parish.