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Parker: Honoring our hometown heroes as we celebrate our freedom in America

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State Rep. Tan Parker

With July comes the anticipation of celebrating the birth of our nation and reflecting on the freedoms we are so blessed to enjoy as Americans. On July 4th, families, friends, and neighbors will come together to share in parades, festivals, backyard gatherings and fly our nation’s magnificent flag. This day brings not only a wonderful celebration of freedom but a time to reflect just how remarkable it is to call the United States of America home.

With the approaching patriotic holiday, my mind begins to fill with the wonderful wisdom of U.S. President Ronald Reagan who said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

While the message has circulated for years, the impact is just as meaningful today as it was when President Reagan first spoke those words. So many incredible patriots have paid the ultimate price so that we have the opportunity as Americans to cherish our rights as a free nation – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This is certainly evident in the Town of Bartonville where the community has recently unveiled a memorial wall honoring two brave young men who fought for every single one of us and whose actions allow freedom to prevail. Captain Mark Weber (USAF) and Sergeant Michael Jimenez Medlock (USMC) both served with bravery, honor, integrity and upheld the highest ideals of the United States Armed Forces.

These two heroes were exceptional people with an impeccable dedication to service and duty who have been ultimately engrained in the very fabric of our nation. They were embraced by their wonderful familes, well known within their communities, graduated from local high schools and went forth to serve our nation without hesitation.

While I regretfully did not have the privilege of meeting Captain Weber or Sergeant Medlock, their families continue to serve as a constant source of light and hope and resiliency. I am most grateful they allowed me to share the stories of their sons in a resolution from the House of Representatives so that the State of Texas will always remember their service. Please stop by Town Hall in Bartonville to see the new memorial and pay tribute to these patriots. The greatest heroes in our society aren’t those who seek notoriety, fortune or fame, instead they are the brave who quietly answer the call to serve every day.

During this Fourth of July holiday, lets come together to express gratitude for the many blessings given to us by our Founding Fathers and the brave soldiers who have sacrificed for our nation. America’s strength and prosperity are proof of the long lasting effects of our country’s founding principles, and we must never take this for granted. I fully believe American ideals have remained powerful for 243 years because they represent the universal freedom of all mankind.

As you take part in the many local celebrations, I hope our paths will cross. Here are just a few local events to celebrate America’s independence while also honoring those who serve and protect our freedom today and for generations to come!

Town of Double Oak Parade kicks off their annual hometown parade at 9:30 a.m. with the line-up at Simmons and Oak Trail (North). Parking is provided north and south of Downing Middle School. Stay around for the community picnic starting at 10 a.m. with live music, refreshments and activities at the John B. Wright Memorial Park.

The Town of Flower Mound’s full day of activities begins with the annual Children’s Parade beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Eaton and Timber Creek Road. The Town’s annual Independence Fest features Bret Michaels’ Unbroken World Tour as the headline act and an incredible fireworks finale around 9:50 p.m. Gates open at Bakersfield Park at 5 p.m. with a vintage car show, vendor booths, refreshments, and free activities for children.

The City of Roanoke’s annual Independence Day celebration is Wednesday, July 3rd starting at 6 p.m.  The community invites you to join a memorable night of fun with bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, fantastic fireworks, food, music and more at Roanoke Community Park.

The Town of Trophy Club starts with their annual Patriot 5K and Fun Run at 7:15 a.m. at Byron Nelson High School followed by the Parade of Patriots at 9:30 a.m. Lastly, the Celebration and Fireworks event takes place at Independence Park and features live entertainment, activities for kids, refreshments, and beautiful fireworks around 9:30 p.m.

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives, and I always welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact me at 512.463.0688, email tan.parker@house.texas.gov, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter (tparker63).

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