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As I sit to write a day before Independence Day, it seems I keep hearing voices questioning whether the shared American identity that has driven this country through so many travails will survive what the modern world is throwing at us.

It’s hard to define just what that shared identity is. Is it our very basic belief in freedom and the will to protect it at all costs? Is it that every person should have the opportunity to rise to the level of his or her ability? Or the belief that honor, justice and morality as enshrined by the founders set us apart from other nations? Corny as it sounds, those statements ring true for me.

It’s not noteworthy to hear someone ‘round these parts say, “This will be the fourth generation of my family participating in a Fourth of July event at Lake Junaluska.” 

But it is when it’s being said by the leader of the Lake Junaluska Singers.

coverThis Fourth of July there will be plenty of places from which to watch a fireworks display. North Jackson County will not be among them.

“I understand Sylva’s not having them this year,” said Cindy Cavender, marketing director with the Franklin Chamber of Commerce.

art frNothing says summer more than the Fourth of July, and in Western North Carolina, we celebrate Independence Day with gusto. Between majestic fireworks, sizzling hot dogs and hamburgers, cotton candy, games, live music and craft demonstrations, there’s a little of bit of everything for any and all. So, grab your lawn chair, sunglasses and adventurous spirit and enjoy America’s birthday in Southern Appalachia.

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