Celebrating July 4th
Picnics, parades, fireworks and music. What’s not to love about July 4th?
Since our founding in 1776, we have been a nation of immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees. It’s our heritage and our greatest strength. This year, on America’s 243rd birthday, TTCP decided to embrace that tradition with a stirring reading of the Declaration of Independence, patriotic music, everyone singing, speeches, poetry, and as a special feature: a map showing the historic journey to Hebron of residents (and their parents and grandparents) to this small corner of Eastern Connecticut.
We asked people to tell us: “Where Ya From?” And over 273 people did just that! We then used red, white and blue pins to mark their ancestry on a large (4 ft x 6.5 ft) world map. While we only asked for the country of birth, some people added notes, like when their earliest relatives arrived here (some as early as the 17th Century), others are first-generation Americans. Some families came from Eastern Europe, many came from England, Ireland and Scotland. Many families were a blend, a grandfather from Russia, a grandmother from Ireland. (Wouldn’t you like to know that story?) The map currently has pins in 33 countries and 36 different US States.
It was a brief, but moving and meaningful ceremony. As our volunteer pianist, Dan Hollenbeck, who drove up from Higganum said, “Being part of this made me feel I’m celebrating the holiday the right way.”
Thank you to all who participated in our celebration this year. If you didn’t get a chance to put your family’s journey on our map, you still can. The Douglas Library has it hanging in the Community Room and there are pins for you to add your family’s path to Hebron. Please do!