Letter: How about recognizing black lives in our proud parade?

Posted 7/9/20

As I stood on the corner of Chestnut and Hope streets,  I felt the tingle of pride and patriotism that the parade engendered in the eager crowd standing — slightly socially distant — …

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Letter: How about recognizing black lives in our proud parade?

Posted

As I stood on the corner of Chestnut and Hope streets,  I felt the tingle of pride and patriotism that the parade engendered in the eager crowd standing — slightly socially distant — around me.  The wonderful baritone, with the benefit of technology broadcasting an orchestral accompaniment, inspired the silence of the crowd — hands on our hearts for our national anthem. 

The masked dignitaries and their children rode by as we imagined their smiles and their pride and joy in the moment.  A few bands added a festive flavor and held the crowd’s attention.  And I thought how long and hard the Fourth of July planning committee had worked to ensure the continuity of Bristol’s pride — our hometown parade — 235 years of rolling down main street. And yet, something very important was missing.

Might we have found a way to include a recognition of those black lives that fought and died in the Revolutionary War and have fought for our country in many wars since — particularly in light of Bristol’s deep involvement in the slave trade? Let us not forget that the first life lost in the effort to achieve independence was that of Chrispus Attucks at the Boston Massacre. Might we have paid tribute in some way to America’s growing realization that “all men are created equal”? . . .

Well, maybe next year?

Sandra Landay
Bristol

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.