We Make History

Proudly Participated

In The


Independence Day Parade

Flagstaff, Arizona

On the 4th of July we have a natural opportunity to contemplate the courage, vision and selflessness of those who have gone before us. Consider the number of luminaries, of great thinkers and selfless heroes who undertook to found our nation some 230 years ago. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Henry, Adams, Madison and many others formed a corps of leadership perhaps unparalleled in history. And consider that this talented and visionary set of leaders came forth from out of a total population in the 13 colonies of about 3 million - far less than today's metropolitan Phoenix! If we could only find half as much such leadership in our time among our national population of nearly 300 million!
We have been blessed by excellent examples. Perhaps as one form of celebrating Independence Day each might find an opportunity for study, contemplation and an expression of gratitude.
One of our expressions as the family of We Make History is participation in the annual Independence Day Parade in Flagstaff, Arizona. This year we have put up a page and photos by which to remember some of our experiences in celebrating the birth of our nation.

For further information as to how to participate as a living historian in this and other events please contact us at wemakehistory@aol.com and see our main web site at www.wemakehistory.com.









General Washington and Attorney General Goddard discussed the advantages of the theory of non-partisanship in government, garnering applause from both the left and the right.












Governor Napolitano was affable and courteous, enthusiastically joining in the fun.

























































































































From The Arizona Daily Sun

Showing the colors of patriotism

By 9 a.m., the length of Elm Avenue was packed with trucks, floats, marching bands, belly dancers, motorcycles and canine corps, all waiting anxiously for the start of Flagstaff's 10th annual Fourth of July Parade, quite possibly the most popular parade in northern Arizona.

Participants came to show off wares, enlist financial and moral backing for causes and to just celebrate the birth of our country's independence from England. They also came to show support for U.S. military forces fighting overseas.


"We're collecting funds and products to send to service women posted to duty in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Sharon Kennick, 52, who represented Service Women's Relief Project, a first-time participant in the parade. "The most requested item by service women overseas is feminine hygiene products -- tampons. They don't have a reliable source."

Kennick, whose son is a Marine just back from Iraq, joined forces with friend Kris Naylor, 39, to start the nonprofit and help serving women.

Helping women in the military get basic hygiene products is not political, she said, and patriotism shouldn't be either.

"To me, patriotism is the love, support and respect for the immense diversity that we enjoy in the United States," Kennick said. "I don't think we've come away from that as people, but I think that political expediency and partisanship is dividing us into camps."

Her friend Naylor agreed.

"I think the general population still feels what this nation was founded on; we still feel that in the core of ourselves," she said.

The relief project entry was next to the MANA (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) truck. This group serves military personnel and their families.

Kathleen Jones, 49, has a son, Mike Jones Jr., who is currently serving in Iraq, after duty in Afghanistan.

"We're following in the paths that were already set by those who served to keep our country safe and to protect its freedom, so our grandkids don't have to live in fear," she said.

Jones said MANA wants to get the word out to the Flagstaff community about how many of its own are deployed and serving in the military.

"We have about 300 local men and women in the armed forces," said her husband, Mike Jones Sr., 52. "It's a real tragedy, with the National Guard and the Reserves, that there isn't more support. These are our neighbors."


Tyler Goode, 15, and Jena Gustafson, 14, were ready to sit in the back of the Konga Juice truck and pass out $1-off coupons for smoothies. They work at the juice store in the Flagstaff Mall and wanted people to know about this relatively new business.

They had not forgotten their patriotism in their excitement to sell juices.

"I'm glad I'm an American," said Tyler, a student at Sinagua High School. "I think our country is beautiful -- like countryside beautiful."

Jena will be entering Coconino High School in the fall.

"To be a patriot means I'm glad that today we became independent from everyone else, and it's just the best -- we're free" she said. "We don't have to be brought down by any other place. It's just our own thing."

Re-enactors from the American Revolution marched sharply down San Francisco Street. Leading them is General George Washington, who, on July 3, 1775, has just taken over command of the Continental Army in the fight against England.

"At that time he was only 43," said Scott of Scottsdale, who played the role of Washington. "He served as commander in chief for eight years, without pay."

Washington/Scott raised his saber above his head in salute to the crowds lining both sidewalks.

"A cheer for the United States!" he exclaimed. "Are there trusty young lads who will join us to defeat Cornwallis?"

The general, who said he stopped counting his age at 200 years, had strong beliefs about patriotism:

"To be a patriot means to be unselfish. It means to do what is best for the whole ... A gentleman always has as a priority service to his family, to his community, to his country. We all have talents. We all have knowledge. We all have resources which we can use to better life for everyone."


Governor Janet Napolitano rode atop an official vehicle, waved to crowds below and answered this reporter's question about patriotism.

"Patriotism -- I think it means standing up for your country and contributing to your country," she shouted.

Deb Hill, a member of the County Board of Supervisors from District Four, put bubble gum in the outreached hands of children watching the parade.

"Being a patriot today is the same as it always was, which is that we believe in our country, and we believe in our democracy," Hill said. "But, we're Americans, so we support that -- thoughtfully. I think we have this illusion that in years past, patriotism meant something else. If you look at history, even the Founding Fathers debated over how our country was going to be set up."

Spectators applauded loudly as Navajo veterans in the Post 112 color guard from Tuba City marched downtown. They were led by retired Staff Sgt. George Kee, 70, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years and fought for three years in the Vietnam War.

"Freedom, that's it," he said. "It's freedom to be in the United States as whatever you have to do. You don't have to be watchful for Communism and everything else."

Larry O'Daniel, 63, pushed a shopping cart down the street at the head of the Northland Cares Flagstaff float, a nonprofit that helps people living with HIV/AIDS.

"Today is to give honor to the men and women who are fighting for us right now," he said. "They should be with us. I hope, somehow, they can see all across the country that we're here, doing this in honor of them. We wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for them and all the others who have fought and died."





Washington in Arizona?

Unknown to most Arizonans there is a direct link to George Washington right here in our state.

July 3rd, 1775

Beneath an American Elm Tree in Cambridge, Massachusetts, George Washington becomes commander in chief of the Continental Army of the United States - in reality a rag-tag bunch of highly individualistic and largely untrained militia. He accepted the responsibility though he regarded the task as virtually impossible (as indeed it was) and wrote privately to his friend Patrick Henry that he thought it would be the ruin of his reputation. Washington served throughout the American Revolution without pay and was ultimately triumphant against the world's greatest economic/military power. He was the man for the moment, proof of the "great man" theory that history is made by individuals who step forward and make a difference as leaders, as catalysts, as examples. He was the greatest American and shines out even among the truly impressive constellation of his generation of founding fathers. We haven't had another quite like him.

April 22nd, 1931

A sprig of the very tree under which Washington assumed command is planted on the campus of the Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff, now known as Northern Arizona University.

July 3rd & 4th, 2006

Members of We Make History visit and contemplate beneath the mighty tree that the small sprig has since grown into. From such small beginnings what great things may come?









































The Governor is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School and as a former Cavalier she wished the 1st Virginia Infantry success at the reenactment of the Battle of Manassas.


She made a brave and ready volunteer, handling musket and bayonet well.