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Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
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Tough times can take their toll on all of us.


It’s easy to get bogged down in daily struggles as we work to provide for our loved ones and ourselves. 


As individuals, the internal battles that rage on daily are known only to us.


However, the wars we wage to uphold the frameworks of our lives are a common ground we share with others.


As Americans, our struggle for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is, indeed, a struggle. It’s having the freedom to fight for these goals that we celebrate together every year on the Fourth of July.


John Adams, co-author of the Declaration of Independence, said Independence Day “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other.”


Over the weekend, Americans in every state of the union gathered to cook out, watch fireworks, play games and spend time together on what Adams called “the day of deliverance.”


Residents of Dawson County were among the fortunate to be able to celebrate on a countywide scale, thanks to the efforts of the community.


In Dawson County, residents are known for taking care of each other. Making events like Sparks in the Park available to everyone was a recent testament to this. Best of all, it was free.


Thousands of people showed up on a beautiful, unusually mild summer Saturday afternoon at Rock Creek Park.


Families, small and large, came out to the Hwy. 9 park toting beach towels, blankets, footballs and Frisbees to stake their spot in the grass.


The smell of hamburgers and hot dogs wafted from open grills. Friends and neighbors greeted each other with handshakes and hugs.


Red, white and blue balloons spotted the landscape, bouncing up and down as children chased after each other. 


A father coached his son as they tossed a football, perfecting a spiral. A mother danced with her daughter as a band played rock ‘n’ roll.


As the skies darkened, people’s curiosity grew. Would the fireworks show be as good as in 2009? How long would it last? How big and loud would they be?


Night came, and exploding cinders lit up the purple sky. For a few minutes, every eye in the park watched the colorful display, lost in the celebration.


For a few moments, the struggles of everyday life were forgotten.


In Dawson County, and across the United States, Americans took part in a nationwide salute to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


And that, in itself, is a reason to celebrate.