Veterans Take Issue With ‘Community Day’
At the May 22 meeting of the Cold Spring Village Board Mayor J. Ralph Falloon Read a letter from the American Legion Commander, Earl Gunderson and Veterans of Foreign War Commander Roger Keppel, who were in opposition to the village referring to Independence Day as “Community Day. The veteran leaders said they felt it took away the true meaning of the day our nation celebrates its independence from Great Brittan.
“It appears that once again the Fourth of July ceremonies in Cold Spring will once again be heralded as Community Day,” Gunderson and Keppel wrote. “As you must be aware, this date is one of the most sacred in our Nation’s history, a date celebrating our independence from oppression of a foreign power, as such we feel strongly that to promote this date as anything other than Independence Day is to dilute the importance of what this date means to our country’s history.
“If there is a need or desire on the part of the village of Cold Spring to have a Community Day, we feel strongly that it should be held on different day. We the members of the Cold Spring American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have a long history of participating in the Independence Day Celebration, however it is with great reluctance we must refrain from participating in this event for the reasons given above.”
Trustee Bruce Campbell said that changing the name to Community Day “happened many, many years ago,” but gave no further information as to why that happened.
He said that it would not matter to him if they changed the name back. All the members voted in favor of changing it back with a loud, “Aye”
It will now be called “Independence Day Celebration.”
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”