This 4th of July is an outstanding day to celebrate, to internalize, to be mindful of the profound blessings and deep responsibilities of being an American. In a time when values we have taken for granted — civility, inclusion, respect for law and its norms, truth-telling — have gone haywire, the 4th is a day to affirm those values as we practice them in our communities.

We can start in the morning with the Oak Park Parade, a genuine celebration of the joy and the solace that comes from a community that has intentionally created a place of welcome and respect for all. 

Come evening is what we have come to see as Oak Park’s most integrated celebration of the year: the Community Bank fireworks show at OPRF High School’s stadium. A spectacular fireworks show, sponsored as a gift to the villages by our local bank. And, we boast, impossible to overlook, a Grand Finale underwritten by Wednesday Journal, the local newspaper. 

So next Wednesday, fly the flag, march in the parade, celebrate the final embers of the fireworks spectacular. And wake up Thursday ready to fight for your country’s soul.

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