Selma celebrates Fourth

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 5, 2005

The Selma times-journal

The lights suddenly went dark in Memorial Stadium and the crowd’s steady hum of conversation rose in anticipation.

Tina Price waited for the crowd to quiet before she concluded the pre-sky concert show with a patriotic reading.

“Greatness is in the heart,” she told the crowd.

Price then stepped aside and the patriotic music started.

The crowd cheered appreciatively as the night sky exploded with colorful fireworks that bathed the entire stadium in hues of red, green and blue.

Twenty minutes later, the show finished with a thunderous finale and a generally happy crowd filed back out to their waiting cars having celebrated the Fourth of July with a few thousand of their fellow Selmians.

For the fourth year in a row, the City of Selma put on a Fourth of July bash for its citizens.

Organized by the city’s planning and development office, the event featured an hour-long patriotic program prior to the sky concert.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. took the opportunity to thank the planning and development office and told the crowd, “sit back and enjoy the show.”

Emceed by Warren Hinson of the Selma Police Department, the pre-fireworks show featured the National Anthem led by City Attorney Jimmy Nunn, the Pledge of Allegiance led by SPD Chief Jimmy Martin and a community sing-a-long.

First Baptist’s minister Jack Lovelace and his wife performed special music and Price gave a patriotic reading.

But the highlight of the program came when Sara Hartman, Support Coordinator for the National Guard 122nd from Selma and Dallas County, spoke.

The 122nd were deployed last year and are currently in Iraq.

“Freedom comes with a great price,” Hartman said. “We here in Selma recognize that freedom is not free.”

Hartman presented both the city and county with flags that flew over the 122nd’s headquarters in Iraq.

“We are very proud that Selma is the city in which we are stationed,” Hartman read from the letter presented to each Probate Judge John Jones and Perkins. “We all look forward to celebrating with you when the troops return home in a few months.”

“My heart is filled with pride tonight,” Jones said. “I accept this flag on behalf of all the grateful citizens of Dallas County. ”

“We accept this with great honor,” Perkins said.

Perkins recalled the emotional ceremony when the 122nd deployed. He told the crowd the same three things he told the troops then.

“Know that we are

in constant prayer,” he said. “Know that you are appreciated.

Third I remind you to trust God.”

Selma City Councilman and Staff Sgt. in the reserves Sam Randolph, asked the family members of the guardsmen to stand and be recognized.

“I salute you for a job well done,” he said.