UNION — The weather didn’t always cooperate but that didn’t stop the Seventh-Day Adventist Church from holding its “July 4 Eve Picnic and Celebration” Thursday evening.
Thursday’s celebration began with a community picnic that had be held partly under a tent on the church lawn and partly inside because of periodic rain. The weather also caused some problems for the second part of the evening, games on the lawn which were at least partly rained out.
Rev. Bill Strong said that the celebration nevertheless continued despite the rain which cleared away for the third part of the evening, which featured a program of patriotic music; the honoring of America’s service men and women both past and present and their families as well as local first responders. The celebration also included a presentation on the life and beliefs of Abraham Lincoln which was followed by the singing of “God Bless America” which closed out the evening.
Strong said that despite the weather the evening “went pretty well,” especially after the rain stopped allowing the patriotic program to be held on the church lawn.
The program began with the “Presentation of the Colors and the Holy Bible.” Those in attendance then said the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America; the Pledge of Allegiance to the Christian Flag; and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Bible. This was followed by the singing of the National Anthem and a presentation by Strong on the history of the anthem.
A portion of the Declaration of Independence was then read and this was followed by the ceremony honoring the armed forces of the United States of America. The honor ceremony included the playing of each service’s song including:
• The US Army — “The Army Goes Rolling Along”
• The US Marines — “The Marine Hymn — Halls of Montezuma”
• The US Navy — “Anchors Aweigh”
• The US Air Force — “Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder”
• The US Coast Guard — “Semper Paratus — Always Ready”
Local first responders including police, fire, and EMS were also honored as were the families of those who have served or are serving in the military.
This was followed by a presentation on Abraham Lincoln by Chris Small who spoke about how the Declaration of Independence was the touchstone of Lincoln’s thinking.
The celebration ended with a performance of “God Bless America” by Megan Baker with the audience joining in for the chorus.