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Rather than berate, volunteer
by Neil Gray


July 08, 2004

Brandi Conway's impression of the Fourth of July in Ketchikan prompted my response. Over the years, including the years I chaired the Chamber Of Commerce Parade, I never experienced a "lame" July 4. My impression is the Fourth of July is for ALL Americans no matter if they are residents of the community, or if they are visitors. What's the big problem with a community benefiting from the visitations of cruise ships? I always found it quite interesting mingling with them and engaging in any kind of small talk. I recall our Parade committee inviting the crews from the ships in port on the 4th to participate in the Parade. On several occasions the bands and entertainers from the ships were the only music we had in the parade other than recorded music from a boom box. We even had crews from the Navy ships in port marching in the Parade.

I was extremely happy to see my friend Miss Lillian selected as Grand Marshall. I remember her for her smile and friendliness all the time. Good job! The pictures being shown on this website make me miss the July 4th celebrations I enjoyed over the years in Ketchikan. One of the most impressive aspects of the 4th will always stay with me. That is Ken Eichner piloting a Temsco helicopter flying the American and Alaska flags high above the waterfront.

So, rather than berate one of the last remaining small town July 4 celebrations remaining, enjoy it. Find the positive side. If you don't like it, volunteer to help make it better next year. Consider the alternative. Maybe next year Brandi would like Saddam Hussein as the Grand Marshall.

Neil Gray

Lakeside, CA - USA


Related Viewpoint:

4th of July by Brandi Conway - Ketchikan, AK - USA



QuicktimeView a Quicktime slideshow of the parade (4.4MB)...



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