John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
I never thought that I would see the day when our century of celebrating Independence Day at Humboldt Park would come into question. Before this year, we have fought small budget cuts, obtained sponsors and volunteers to help us plan and celebrate the 4th of July. This year City Hall in its budget cuts has attempted to wipe out that dream. For the first time we will have to cancel our Talent Show. We also have to reduce our prizes, awards, ribbons, electricity, stage use and other little things that we need for this event. I always believed that in good times and bad times, that City Hall would support our celebration of Independence Day in the park. I was wrong. It seems that to City Hall, the 4th of July is just another day on the calendar.
With all of our military service people fighting on our behalf and many dying in the process, you know that freedom does not come cheap. Most of us celebrate the birthday of our country as proud citizens. We are so lucky to have the many freedoms that we have. Where else can you vote in safety? Where else can you speak your mind under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, not be punished for it? Where else can you carry a gun if needed without being arrested for it? Count your blessings. Be glad that you live in a free country.
If our politicians do not want to celebrate Independence Day, then we have the right under the United States Constitution to recall them from office. Maybe then we can elect some patriotic politicians who support their country in war and peace. I never thought that I would have to write on this subject, but now is that time. Contact your local alderperson and mayor and find out why they do not believe in celebrating Independence Day. Then you can make your own decision on this matter. I am only one person. It takes many people to correct this problem.