I play the bassoon in the Bel Air Community Band and usually we play a concert for the Independence Day celebration just before the fireworks at Bel Air High School — which is the descendent of the school attended by John Wilkes Booth, since this is where he was born and raised. However, a new high school is almost finished and the Bel Air High School I attended is slated for demolition. So for the last couple of years, and this year, due to the construction, the fireworks have been moved to another location but we haven’t played because the alternate location has no room for us or our audience.
When the band plays before the fireworks, we always finish with John Phillip Sousa’s march, “Stars and Stripes Forever.” The most difficult thing about playing it for many of us, because it is such a beautiful and stirring march, and we love our country so, is not to burst into tears as we play. I do usually finish with tears running down my cheeks, and I see other band members wiping away tears, too, when we’ve finished playing.
Our country is under a well-planned, slow-motion attack from within the like of which we’ve never seen before and can hardly comprehend due to the scale of destruction bearing down on us. We are fighting for the life of America as a democratic republic empowered by capitalism. Please vow on this Independence Day to keep the faith and do the work necessary to restore our Congress and the presidency to people who will be true stewards of liberty, capitalism and the American Dream. This fight is too big now for anyone to be excused from service.