National Guard leads Brundidge Independence Day

Published 12:54 pm Saturday, June 26, 2010

The City of Brundidge got an early start on its celebration of the 234th anniversary of the United States of America.

Patriots from all over the region converged on the antique city Saturday morning for the annual 4th of July parade.

The smell of freshly cut watermelon tempted spectators across from the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library, as the 900th Maintenance Company of the Alabama National Guard led the procession along Main Street.

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City Councilman Lawrence Bowden rode in an Uncle Sam float with a group of summer camp children, just behind the military convoy.

“This is a special celebration,” Bowden said later, “We’re honoring the 900th.”

Soldiers of the unit were named the parade’s Grand Marshals in appreciation for their service and their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in August.

An older generation of brave Americans watched proudly as the 900th passed. The VFW distributed Buddy Poppy’s, the “flower of remembrance” from their booth in front of City Hall. Congressman Bobby Bright waved to the crowd who was taking advantage of the VFW’s complimentary iced tea and lemonade.

The cold drinks helped to keep onlookers cool as they braved the heat to support community and country.

Troy Regional Medical Center was there for support as well, with RN Faye Wright ready to treat any heat injuries.

“Troy Regional Medical Center is just excited to be here this morning and be able to provide the first aid booth in case anybody needs it,” said TRMC Marketing Director Karen Herring.

Despite the extreme heat, no serious injuries were reported, but the conditions may have hurt the parade’s attendance.

It didn’t stop Buren and Oline Thompson from coming out though. The Banks couple was unafraid to show their pride in the country but they wished more would do the same.

“Years ago you used to not be able to move through here,” Buren said motioning to the sidewalk behind him.

Though maybe not as popular as it once was, there was still a great representation of patriotisms in the Brundidge community Saturday morning.

From the golden Lady Liberty on the Brundidge Business Association float to Congressional candidate Martha Roby to the countless beauty queens from communities as far away as Bonifay, love for the red, white and blue was in the air.

“It’s just a special day,” Councilman Bowden said standing beside a banner of Old Glory.

“Hearing that band just gives me goose pimples.”