Up & Coming Weekly

July 02, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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JULY 3-9, 2019 UCW 19 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Hope Mills News & Views Mayor, commissioners share Fourth of July thoughts by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Up & Coming Weekly asked the mayor of Hope Mills and the members of the board of commis- sioners to share what they thought the Fourth of July means to their commu- nity. We received responses from Mayor Jackie Warner and Commissioners Jessie Bellflowers and Pat Edwards. Here are their replies. Mayor Jackie Warner Parade, traditions, fam- ily, friends, fireworks and homemade ice cream — July Fourth, Hope Mills. Like many military fami- lies, we moved a lot. But unlike most, we stayed in the Fayetteville area, just different houses — new schools every year while our dad served in other countries. When I married and Hope Mills was Alex (Warner's) home, it became my permanent home finally. So, like many of our retired veterans and active-duty military who find Hope Mills a per- fect location to raise a family, I also share that same sentiment. What makes Hope Mills special? First and fore- most are our people. Our small town offers so much for families — youth programs for all ages, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Adventurers, churches of all religious preferences and the best schools in Cumberland County. Family activities, especially around special holidays, we have so many special memories. Christmas parades — some watching with fam- ily on the front porch of Countryside Furniture — or participating in the parades, walking among floats and vehicles with scouts, bands or special groups. The Festival of Lights at the lake with Christmas carols, hot chocolate and the Christmas story shared by a local minister are times we look forward to every year. But a favorite time in Hope Mills has to be the July Fourth special events, which for my family have changed so much over the years. The July Fourth parade starts the day off with families lining the parade route wearing patriotic clothes and waving flags. Our Countryside Furniture porch has been the place for many to come and watch the parade since 1979. I can still see pictures in my mind of Mac and Pete Warner, Colleen and Milton Smith, Fronnie and Jimmy Jackson, along with friends and neighbors sitting on the porch or in the parking lot. Over the years, the faces have changed as our family has grown — Colleen, Milton, Micah and Caleb Smith; Teddy, Tiffany, Parker and Peyton Warner; Molly, Nick, Kate, Cooper and Jackson Capps — share the porch with new neighbors and friends. The classic car rides or town float have made the parade trip special, but also sometimes because I wave as we pass the porch that has so many memories. The events at the park or lake are also etched in my mind, but not as much as the fireworks dis- play. (Alex's and my) first July Fourth, in 1979, we watched the fireworks from our Hillcrest Street front yard eating homemade ice cream. As our family grew, we moved to Frierson Street, where we watched from our backyard. Then it was on to our current Legion Road home, where we watched from our driveway from 1994-2003. After the dam failed and the fireworks were moved, we watched from various locations. The best display we watched from our back porch, as it was staged at South View High School. Traditions such as family cookouts, Christmas in July events and many churns of homemade ice cream are captured in my heart and mind. This year, like the past 10 years, we will watch the fireworks display from the Moulder home side yard — never sure how many or who will share the best view ever because we are across Rockfish Road from the park. Also, the ice cream churn has to start by 8:30 p.m. to be ready for the show. Patriotism, traditions, family, community, church and schools are why Hope Mills is our home. Hope Mills gives our children firmly planted roots in family values, traditions and love of their home. Memories are made every day, but the favorite memories come to mind on July Fourth. Commissioner Jessie Bellflowers Each year on the Fourth of July, most folks in Hope Mills ask two questions: When is the town parade, and where is the fireworks ceremony. In our community, more and more families each year celebrate our nation's birthday by attending and participat- ing in the parade; and the Fourth of July just wouldn't be the same without a stunning fireworks show in the park. On this day, let us recom- mit ourselves to the prin- ciples upon which our great nation was first founded. We must continue to reflect upon the price of freedom and honor America's brave patriots who gave their last full measure and (those who) defend the freedoms we enjoy today. Stand and salute our national colors. Let us renew our sacred pledge that will forever remain: "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'' I am honored to stand with thousands of American patriots who have a genuine love of country and willingness to sacrifice everything in their life for it, without regret. Over the past 243 years, it has taken generations of sacrifice to make sure our nation's independence endures. Those of us who have fought for freedom know all too well the high cost of maintaining the free- doms we enjoy today. It has often been said, "A nation's strength is not measured through military might; it's mea- sured in the patriotism of its people.'' So, on this Fourth of July, please share a love of country and patriotism with your family and friends, but also pause to remember and honor all of America's patriots who unselfishly sacrificed themselves for us to celebrate our past, our present, our future — our nation's Independence Day. And don't forget to thank our active-duty members and their families for their bravery, boldness and the courage to protect the core val- ues of America ... the very values upon which our great nation was founded 243 years ago. Enjoy a hot dog, hamburger, and raise a glass of celebra- tion to let freedom ring across our great nation. Happy Birthday, America. Commissioner Pat Edwards The Fourth of July means so much to me. It glorifies the freedom and liberty for every man and woman on earth. We commemorated the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. Patriotic displays and family events are celebrated throughout the United States. I am proud to be an American. I deeply believe that every day is Veterans Day. Our town will cel- ebrate with a parade, vendors, food trucks (and) activities for children, followed by fireworks. Everyone is welcome. Fun time for all. Mayor Jackie Warner Commissioner Jessie Bellflowers Commissioner Pat Edwards OPINION

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