Brundidge kicks off Independence celebrations

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, June 28, 2016


The heat index was high, but that didn’t keep people from coming out to honor those who fought for America’s independence and those who have continued to preserve those freedoms during Brundidge’s weekend kickoff of Independence Day activities.

“We had veterans at both events and we really appreciated them taking time to be a part of these special celebrations,” said Delatha Mobley, parade co-chair. “We want to always remember our veterans and their families and their sacrifices in service to our country.”

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Col. Ret. William “Billy” Jackson, a veteran of World War II and Korea, was the featured speaker at the Salute to Veterans on Friday and also the grand marshal of the 2016 Independence Day Parade on Saturday.


Jackson spoke of the political upheaval that occurred between 1765 and 1783 when colonists in the 13 American colonies rejected the British monarchy and overthrew the authority of Great Britain.

“Freedom was born and the American dream was underway,” Jackson said. “But many lives were lost in that fight for freedom from Great Britain – 4,435 lives. They fought for freedom, but they didn’t get to enjoy the benefits of the revolution.”

Jackson said history makes heroes and thousands upon thousands of heroes have been made in wars to win and preserve freedom in America.

“Some might ask, ‘Why be a patriot?’” Jackson said. “Why? Because of the freedoms that have been bought with blood and sacrifice.”


He encouraged those in attendance to be heroes at home by being active in their communities and taking a stand. And, if not, don’t stand in the way of those who are.

“We cannot change history,” he said. “Japan did strike Pearl Harbor; Hitler did initiate World War II in Europe. We cannot change history, but we can make a difference in the future.”


On Saturday morning, Jackson led the Independence Day Parade in Brundidge as its grand marshal.

“A real honor,” he said. “I don’t know if I deserve it but I do appreciate it. I love America and I’m proud that I had an opportunity to serve.

The Independence Day Parade featured a wagonload of veterans including Joe Frank Hughes, Buddy Ellis, James Argo, Brain Byrd, Freddie Turner and James Ed Brown.


“We all got on a wagon and there were veterans on other floats and all along the sidewalks,” Turner said. “For me, the Fourth of July is an important day in history and today as well. We have more freedoms than any other country in the world. And, we take them for granted but we are in danger of losing some of those freedoms.  We’ve got to preserve the freedoms we have. If we don’t everything before us is going to be lost.”

Mobley expressed appreciation to the veterans who participated in the weekend events and to all who came to make the salute and parade successful.

“We had a variety of entries in the parade – from floats and fire trucks to horses and wagons and tractors,” Mobley said. We had queens from 35 surrounding communities, including the 2016 Miss National Peanut Festival Queen. It was a great weekend as we celebrated America.”