The torch has been passed

Friday, September 7, 2012

Congratulations to the Freedom and Fireworks Committee for pulling off the July Fourth celebration on Labor Day. Never before has Monett's big event had to move so far from the big holiday.

With no posters in the store windows, no banner over the street and only last minute announcements, Monett's South Park still filled with spectators.

The results provide a vivid testimony to the history of Monett's celebration. People know they can expect a good time and great fireworks when they come to Monett.

The bands were the real heroes this year, playing without shade on one of the hottest afternoons of the summer. They may not have had much of an audience, but they got the party started and kept it going.

These holiday bashes provide mainly secondary benefits for Monett's business community. With stores closed, the primary effect is for people to have a good time when they come to Monett. Hopefully, the shopping experience later will also be rewarding.

Freedom and Fireworks has limited resources to promote Monett, so the city's support for a community party in the park is quite fitting and appreciated. The big party sends a message of welcome from Monett to its neighbors.

It's always difficult to find people willing to serve on big projects. Thank you to the Freedom and Fireworks team for making 2012's event possible. They sustained the groundwork to justify future donations.

It helps to have more partners to ensure success on a big event like Monett's July Fourth celebration, so we'd like to see more groups involved. Monett's biggest party of the year may continue because of the tenacity of the committee, but it should not be a precarious tradition.

This year may have been different in many ways, but the support needs to be there. Monett's July Fourth celebration was established by the American Legion after World War II when the number of legionnaires was large and patriotism was strong. The torch has been passed. If it takes more to carry it today, more volunteers or more organizations need to stand up to make it happen.