Patriots in Platte County still wear the red white and blue
There are many small towns in America that have left their traditions.
Some for economic reasons, some for apathetic reasons and some who want to be more politically correct.
One of the greatest traditions that really brought us together as a nation and as united communities was the annual Fourth of July parade.
According to Scuttlebutt Sailing News, “Bristol Fourth of July Parade, or Bristol Fourth of July Celebration, founded in 1785, is a nationally known Fourth of July parade in Bristol, Rhode Island.”
The tradition caught on all over America, in large cities and small bergs. It was not only the midpoint of summer, but also a rallying place for patriots to honor those who fought for our freedom and our independence. It was always a time to honor our symbol of being released from tyranny as we held our hearts to revere the flag.
With lots of smaller towns opting out of the July celebration, other small towns have inherited those visitors and tourists who still seek out that hallowed tradition on July 4. The town of Guernsey is one of those small towns that still maintains the tradition and carries the banners for all of Platte County.
They call it the longest parade in one of America’s smallest cities and it has everything. From kids on bikes to soldiers in Humvees. From motorcycle clubs to Patriot Guards. From school children to the retired.
It turns that sleepy little town of Guernsey with a population of somewhere around 1100 into a virtual metropolis. And the parade as the hub, the spokes of the wheel are equally impressive with an annual gun show, a gathering in the park, musical entertainment and of course the tube ride from the north Guernsey beach to Madison Beach at Register Cliff.
A memory from parades past that still leaves a lump in my throat was a grand finale to the parade in 2021. Something that most parades don’t experience. As the Hub City Motorcycle Club riding with the Patriot Guard Riders brought up the rear and “had the six” of all the others in the parade, there was a complete stop to the procession as the motorcycles ceased their roar and came to a reverent halt in front of the local post office.
The bikers got off their bikes, put their hands on their hearts as the entire crowd gathered around them in a circle. A thousand people, maybe more gathered at the same place where Pony Express Riders used to stop.
And then in a silence of what was happening, the loudspeaker began with a rousing rock rendition by Madison Rising of the Star-Spangled Banner. Not one kneeler. Not one person without their hands over their hearts or tears in their eyes.
In the little town of Guernsey, a message was sent to America, “Don’t abandon your traditions. Don’t forsake your country or those who fought to defend its freedoms. Don’t disgrace the flag and all she has stood for. Don’t ever forget the assembling of yourselves together to keep America great.”
Platte County. It’s God, guns, Old Glory and a people who will stand to defend the honor of the American way of life.