Tuesday, March 08, 2016

How great to celebrate our state's 200th birthday!

This is our bicentennial! How exciting is that? We are living the event Daniel Harris (the founding father of Clay County) and our other forefathers could only dream about! The 200th anniversary of the great State of Indiana!
I have often said I enjoy visiting Daytona Beach and other places in Florida but there is no place to call home like Indiana. 
The year 2016 is just another date on the calendar until we do something about it. It’s really like your birthday. The cakes and the gifts from loved ones is what makes your birthday special whether you are 4 or 44 or 94. 
Our State leaders have been calling for each county in the state to do something special for our bicentennial. To help us realize how great our bicentennial is, we now have a bicentennial flag that was to be raised for the first time in the same hour at all the 92 courthouses in our state’s 92 counties.  
Some of us attended the raising of the bicentennial flag in Brazil. Members of the Brazil Concert Band and the Jackson Township Community Band, led by Matt Huber, played. The County Commissioners spoke and the flag was raised by our own veterans. You can see the video we made by going to the video section of our website, http://www.thebraziltimes.com. 
Now, we are planning the Clay County leg of the bicentennial torch run that will travel through all 92 counties and feature special people from all walks of life and all ages in the State of Indiana. 
At the urging of an old friend, I wrote a story about one project that is receiving the blessing of the State’s Bicentennial committee. In Crawfordsville, members of a committee that has been working for 20 years to rebuild the clock tower on the Montgomery County courthouse sold pencils on street corners to show their dedication to the cause. 
Today, a revolving weather siren sets where a four-sided clock once stood. 
In some ways, I find the 200th birthday of our state more exciting than the 200th birthday of our country in 1976. 
On July 4, 1976, I was traveling with friends to Denver, Colorado. 
On July 4, I turned on the TV in my motel room to hear Walter Cronkite wish us happy birthday, America, and we saw boats in one of our country’s harbors spraying water dyed red, white and blue to celebrate our nation. 
This year’s celebration of Indiana’s bicentennial is more real to me because all the celebrations are taking place right here, in Indiana, within driving distance of Clay County. 
Hopefully, we will read articles and see photos of celebrations around our state. I am looking forward to taking pictures and covering the torch relay through Clay County.
I hope you will approve of our local torchbearers. I think the committee did a great job picking the ones to be honored. It was very difficult and, really, everyone nominated deserves a spot in the relay but 20 torchbearers and three alternates were all that were allowed to participate. 
But we can all participate in one way or another if we so choose.
In addition to the torch relay, there will be the band concert led by Matt Huber at the courthouse. There will be speeches. It will be a grand time. 

Here’s a challenge: Find some way, however small, to celebrate our Indiana bicentennial every day in the remaining months of 2016!