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IT’S ONLY MY OPINION - Let freedom ring on the Fourth of July

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“…. July 3, the eve of the 210th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the torch of the newly restored Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor will be lit again……What could be more fitting than to celebrate this moment with the joyful clamor of bells?” - President Ronald Reagan, 1986

Everybody knows what tomorrow is, but did you know that today is also a very special day? On this date in 1986, President Ronald Wilson Reagan presided over the re-lighting of the newly-renovated Statue of Liberty. In his speech, my President spoke about the ringing of the Liberty Bell to announce America’s independence. He said, “For centuries, great occasions have been marked by the ringing of bells.”

At the conclusion of this marvelous speech, he looked up at his audience, and, with his usual warm, friendly smile, he bellowed, “LET FREEDOM RING!”

To many Americans, because of this declaration, July 3 has become known as Let Freedom Ring Day.

Sean Hannity wrote a book with the title “Let Freedom Ring.” There have been many concerts, albums and songs with the same name – “Let Freedom Ring.” And here’s a bit of wonderful trivia to bring up when the conversation slows down to a halt at the barbecue tomorrow– when Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous speech, he bellowed, “I HAVE A DREAM” eight times. He declared “LET FREEDOM RING!” nine times.

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What do Laura Branigan, Gloria Allred, Montel Williams, Betty Buckley, Moises Alou and Tom Cruise have in common? They were all born on July 3. Happy birthday to you all.

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A very happy birthday to the automobile. On July 3, 1886, Karl Benz drove the first automobile in the world on the roads of Mannheim, Germany.

On July 3, 1992, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy married Victoria Reggie. She was only 38 years old. I’m not sure, but I think he was about 150.

On this date in 1976, as we were finishing our final touches for the next day’s bicentennial celebration, we heard the news about the miraculous Israeli rescue of 103 passengers and crew from a hijacked Air France flight. We quickly learned the names Entebbe, Uganda and the nut-job screwball Major General, Field Marshal, Lord Of All The Beasts Of The Earth And Fishes Of The Seas And Conqueror Of The British Empire, President Idiot Amin Dada.

And in 1958, “The Andy Williams Show” premiered on ABC television. Later it went to NBC and then on to CBS. If you’d like to see it now, Andy, at age 80, still performs at the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri. Call first for his current schedule. My roommate and I caught his act a few years ago and the man is still great.

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For many years, the hot, humid areas of the United States were sparsely populated. Air-conditioning came along and was followed by a growing migration of Americans to southwestern cities. The comforts of air-conditioning are saluted on July 3, a date which is commemorated as “Air-Conditioning Appreciation Day” by the “Air-Conditioning And Refrigeration Institute” -- who else?

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Happy July 3 to you all today and happy Independence Day tomorrow. We in the great land of ours enjoy freedoms that are unthinkable in many places on this planet. These liberties did not come cheaply. Before we start the holiday festivities, it would be nice if we recognized that fact. Take a few minutes out to discuss 1776 with the youngsters. Then take another minute or two to say a prayer for our women and men in uniform who are performing the most heroic duties of all – protecting those rights. I swear by all that I hold sacred, if you make reference to the Lord above, you will not be struck by lightning.

I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net wishing you all a happy and safe holiday.

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Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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