Organizers ask veterans to attend holiday event

Published 8:17 pm Saturday, July 2, 2011

Amid the bright lights of the pomp and circumstance of Selma’s Fourth of July celebration, city officials wanted to take a little time to recognize the veterans past and present who will be in attendance Monday.

Both city and Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce officials spoke about the importance of recognizing those who have given us the ability to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy.

“We hoped that they would come out so we could recognize them for their service to us,” chamber director Sheryl Smedley said. “We want to recognize them in the time leading up to the fireworks because they are the reason we are free. It is because of them we are able to celebrate the Fourth.”

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Selma Mayor George Evans said he hopes to have a special section for troops to honor them and a special time allotted to stand and be recognized.

“We are going to stand up during the program and give them a round of applause,” Evans said. “I would like them to come down, so we can specially recognize them in front of everyone. It may take a little bit of time, but they deserve it completely.”

Selma Veterans of Foreign Wars post commander Rayburn Hill said he’s happy to see the city make an effort to recognize hose who have served in any capacity.

“They have really started recognizing us the last five years,” Hill said. “I think it is a great thing that they have decided to do it, especially for the kids.

“We live in a situation where children may not understand the sacrifices except from a history book unless they have family members in the military. It is an honor they will recognize us like this.”

The special celebration will begin at Memorial Stadium Monday at 5:30 p.m. The Fourth of July will culminate with a fireworks display at around 7:30 p.m.