Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

June 30, 2013

Celebrate America group is in it for all the right reasons

On July 7, weather willing, people will stream to Black Squirrel Golf Club for the annual Celebrate America fireworks show. This is the 10th year the committee will be putting on this event. And its pretty telling what kind of organization Celebrate America is when founder Al Lane told The Goshen News nothing will be done to recognize the 10-year mark.

See, for the people involved with Celebrate America, it’s never been about self-promotion. Celebrate America’s vision is laser focused on helping and honoring others. Just look at the upcoming event at Black Squirrel. It could just be something where everyone shows up with a blanket, watches some fireworks go off, maybe posts a picture to Twitter or Instagram and goes home.

But the July 7 event is more than that. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. with music. Then at 7:30 p.m. a program is scheduled to honor local veterans for their service. The emphasis on this program will be on Korean War veterans.

It’s important to recognize our heroes at any chance we get. Fourth of July activities are fun. The time off for many allows for trips to the beach or a ballpark. Some just like to stay at home and fire up the grill. And all that is perfectly fine.

But we owe it to the men and women who have sacrificed for us to take time out of our upcoming days and think about them. Celebrate America is doing that on July 7. But the group’s work isn’t limited to the first week in July. Take for example the a story we ran in our May 26 edition. It chronicled the Teen Challenge program, which is a long-term residential program for men 18 and older struggling with drug addiction.

The nationwide organization opened a North Central Indiana chapter in 2010. A group from Celebrate America visited the program and were so moved they sought a partnership. So Lane’s vision is to arrange for the Teen Challenge students to help local aging veterans or their widows. It could be doing some minor repairs around the house or mowing a lawn, but the partnership provides a boost of self-worth for the student and much-needed help to our vets.

We feel pretty lucky to live in and cover a community with an organization like Celebrate America around. If you feel that way too and you find yourself at Black Squirrel on the evening of July 7, find a Celebrate America volunteer and thank them.

And enjoy the show.

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