Congressman John Sarbanes

Representing the 3rd District of Maryland

Fourth of July Parade Spectators Bemoan Political Tone of a Holiday that Has Grown ‘More Complicated’

July 4, 2019
In The News

Fourth of July parade spectators sought comfort Thursday from the familiar trappings of the holiday — lawn chairs strategically positioned on sidewalks, kids waving tiny American flags, horses clip-clopping down the route. But with the nation starkly divided over political and social issues, many celebrants at the parade in Towson said — some striking wistful tones — that the holiday has changed. “It’s a lot more complicated,” said businessman Eric Gee, who joined the crowds lining Towson streets on a 90-degree day to watch one of the state’s biggest Independence Day celebrations. Parades marking America’s Declaration of Independence 243 years ago were also scheduled for Annapolis, Arbutus, Bel Air, Catonsville, Dundalk and other communities across the state. Towson parade spectators offered divergent theories about the evolving feel of the day. For Gee, the tone of the day changed when President Donald Trump decided to play a particularly prominent role by planning a speech at the Lincoln Memorial during a “Salute to America” showcasing the might of the U.S. military…. Among the elected officials in the parade were U.S. Reps. John Sarbanes and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, both Baltimore County Democrats. Sarbanes told the Baltimore Sun that Independence Day was a celebration of “our nation’s freedom from foreign influence and interference in our democracy.” As such, he said the nation “must act quickly — and in bipartisan fashion” to bolster its efforts to prevent attacks on election security in 2020.