July 4th Parade Celebrates Freedom

The Fife and Drum kicks off the Annapolis July 4th Parade
The Fife and Drum kicks off the Annapolis July 4th Parade

                       

                                                                           

 

 

Despite cloudy skies and intermittent raindrops, Annapolitans gathered downtown, umbrellas in hand to watch the annual July 4th

 

parade. “The regulars” brought folding chairs and staked out prime locations, that provided some shelter such as building overhangs and bus stop waiting shelters. Their children brought bags to gather all the candy that was sure to be thrown from passing floats and small flags to wave.

 

There were the usual display of antique cars, fire engines, and politicians. Mayor Moyer, Governor O’Malley, members of the State Senate and Congress as well as campaign representatives for presidential hopefuls Senator McCain and Senator Obama all handed out flyers. Paws Pet Boutique had organized a march of dogs and their owners. Children rode in wagons, the fife and drummers played patriotic tunes all donned in the traditional red, white and blue.

 

But none could compare with a new display in a different color, the color of deep yellow gold. A large yellow banner imprinted in red with Falu Dafa and the words truthfulness, compassion, tolerance grabbed my attention. A float with individuals dressed in yellow gold and red jackets and trousers doing meditation exercises and a colorful dragon carried by similarly dressed marchers made an impressive display.

Falun Dafa Banner made an impact at the parade.
Falun Dafa Banner made an impact at the parade.

 July 4th, the birthday of our country, celebrates liberty and freedom.

 

 

 

 

Followers of Falun Gong, founded in 1992 and based on Buddhist teachings, seek to achieve a state of selflessness, greater insight and awareness, inner purity and balance.  There are between 70 and 100 million people in China who practice Falun Gong. But in 1999, the Chinese government banned the religion.

 

 

Evidently those seeking to publicize the plight of Falun Gong,  chose our July 4th Annapolis Parade to make us aware that while we celebrate our freedom, other nations are not so fortunate.

 Like many religions banned in China, followers of Falun Gong are subject to persecution and torture.

 

At the time I was watching the parade I admired the flowing movements and burst of color not knowing what Falu Dafa really meant or why they were marching. It wasn’t until today, researching on the Internet that I learned their purpose in joining the festivities.  And I was reminded to take nothing for granted and be thankful for my freedom to believe what I want to believe.

 

 

 

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Author: Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Currently in the Stoneooast MFA writing program (University of Southern Maine), genre literary fiction. Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, in charge of three magazines: "What's Up? Annapolis", "What's Up? Eastern Shore", and "What's Up? Weddings", former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..