Saturday, July 7, 2012

AM~Erica Just Wants an Independence Celebration

So anyway... that so wrong?

This is a slightly edited version of a Facebook post I had about my thoughts on Independence Day in Independence:

I'm so super disappointed. It was Independence Day; I live in Independence; Independence does not a whole lot of Independence Day. It makes NO sense!! There's fireworks at the Mormon Center with some orchestrated music right before hand. TA-DA! That's it. No extra events. Nothing. I am so disappointed that there couldn't be a parade around the square with a Harry Truman impersonator. We have several local television anchors that hail from here that are used for emcees for other why not a grand marshall? Why can't we have barbershop quartets & bands? The possibilities from this town are nearly endless & this community focuses on Labor Day weekend doing Santa Cali Gon Days...but C'MON!!

It's so sad that there was some trivia that came up on the news about Independence Day & July 4th. One of the facts thrown out there was that there are 14 cities with "Independence" in or as its name. Interesting, right. Well, it seems that Independence, MO is the famous one. I'd like to think it really has to do with the ties to Harry Truman, but I'm afraid that it might be because it was once the Meth Capitol of the World. I swear we have shed that title. But I am frustrated with this great community.

A lesser known community in Kansas, also called Independence, is a small town that takes great pride in it's name. Parades, fireworks, decorations...and they fully welcome visitors. I am in a city that thinks it's a small town, but only most accepting of anyone who is FROM here. Outsiders don't get to find out a whole lot & generally know about it afterward, unless you have REALLY good inside information.

I did find out there was at least a kids' parade SOMEWHERE in this city, but after the fact, of course. And I did find out that somewhere between 15-20 years ago, at least, there was major celebration here! There were gatherings at the Truman Library, the KC Symphony played with the fireworks...*sigh* How wonderful does that sound?

Is it too much to want a parade that's well advertised? In this city, it is believed you should only check the local paper for anything & everything. Yes, in a time when things are becoming multi & social is looked down upon if you don't get & read the actual newspaper. So, I guess that's one reason we miss out on some stuff...but, once again...C'MON! 

Apparently the Independence Chamber of Commerce puts on Santa Cali Gon Days durning Labor Day weekend. That's great. But why doesn't the city step up & celebrate the city?

I love that we are here. I do love people here. I am not fond of the over-rooted culture. Citizens "from here" don't let go of much & won't let "newbies" (anyone who's DNA doesn't start here) in. 

I am all about traditions. I am also all about starting new ones, or even tweaking some. The point is making progress, but still holding on to where you started. It's OK to do so. 

So, my proposal of a day-long event, or chain of events, is to enrich the deep history of this great city, still give it a small town feel, but make it open for the whole KC metro area & beyond. Decorations, parades, good ol' Harry Truman himself, music, fireworks! There is so much that could happen around the square & many other places around town. Where is the pride? Where is the want to turn around the image that it already has?

There was about a week where Independence hit the news about every other story...and none of it was good. Any positive thing we saw happening was not being covered by the media. So guess what, Independence, MO? We don't have the best image around Kansas City OR the entire nation! They don't hang on to Harry's days here...they focus on the old meth lab busts & the awful crime & weirdness that happens. And having your events happen at the Mormon center doesn't really help, either.

So here is my plea: Take pride in this city, know it's a city, know there is rich history, celebrate the rich history in it's name. Why would you let a small town in Kansas with the same name get better & more positive coverage of their celebration on Independence Day than us?

~ Independence is proud of their city
~ Independence is proud of their schools
~ Independence is proud of the history
~ Independence is VERY proud of Harry Truman

(Harry Truman statue outside the Independence Courthouse on the square)

Show it!! Shout it!! Don't make it an insider deal. If it was originally a hub where people came thru to begin with, why would we shun that idea? Bring it back. More than just Santa Cali Gon.

I already have my soapbox for calling July 4th Independence Day, so why wouldn't I want a town I live in, which happens to be called Independence, to step up?

Wake up, Independence & get with the program. I'm happy we get to be here...are you all happy people keep coming in? It's hard to tell. 

Be the hub, be welcoming, be proud. BE THE CITY OF INDEPENDENCE! 

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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