July 3, 2012

July 4th, 2012


JULY 4TH, 2012

The sound of firecrackers exploding in the distant night sky accompany my thoughts about two World War II veterans.

I read about Chester Lapa of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, in the local newspaper. He will march in the Greater Latrobe Fourth of July parade, one of seven veterans who are members of the Battle of the Bulge: Western Pennsylvania Chapter 14.

His age, 86 years old, is the youngest age a veteran of the Battle can be. He laments the toll of time that is bringing Chapter 14 to an end.

The Latrobe parade will be the Chapter’s final march.1


FYI, year 2012 is the 236th anniversary of the birth of this nation.

It is also the birthday celebration of my youngest sister, Sally June.

And it is the 126th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, given to the United States in by France in recognition  of the friendship established during the American Revolution. Over the years, the Statue of Liberty’s symbolism has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as this international friendship.2

This construction of this monument was a joint effort between America (to build the pedestal) and France (to build the statue and assemble it in the United States). Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design the statue, which had a target date for completion: the United States 100th birthday anniversary.

Like many projects, money was lacking. In France, public fees, various forms of entertainment, and a lottery were among the methods used to raise funds. In the United States, benefit theatrical events, art exhibitions, auctions and prize fights assisted in providing needed funds.2

The statue, completed in France in July 1884, arrived in New York Harbor in June 1885. It was delivered in three hundred fifty individual pieces that were packed in two hundred fourteen crates.

Once the pedestal was completed, in April 1886, the statue was reassembled in four months.

The monument was dedicated on October 28, 1886, ten years after the centennial of the Declaration of Independence, which marked the United States  independence from Britain


Lady Liberty is a big gal.  She is 111 feet, six inches tall (heal to head top), weighs 450,000 pounds, and clothed, has a thirty-five foot waist. Her feet are adorned with broken shackles which represent freedom from oppression and tyranny. Her one hand holds a gold-covered torch, and in her other hand is a tablet measuring twenty-three feet seven inches tall. Inscribed on the tablet is the date JULY IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776.3


The second veteran, Elwin Holland, will miss celebrating July 4th for the first time in 90 years. My husband’s older brother died March 4th this year.

Today, let us include in our celebrations an appreciation for the freedoms Lapa, Holland, and so many other men fought for, freedoms represented by the Statue of Liberty.

Have a happy July 4th.



The French military in America during the American Revolution Part 1

The French military in America during the American Revolution: Part II

July 4 in Historical Events

July Celebrations: Part 1

Take Me Out to the Ball Game…So Reluctantly I Go

The Start of Marietta and Gallipolis in Ohio

United States Flags of a Different Kind:






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