It was a time of celebrating Independence Day and the first public appearance by Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and his wife, Sandra, since May 15, when they were seriously injured in a head-on collision on Georgetown Road.
Rowland said he was determined to attend the annual event after missing the annual Memorial Day service for the first time in 40-plus years.
“I don’t know if I will be able to stay the full two hours,” he said Friday. “It made me very sad that I could not emcee the Memorial Day observance.”
Rowland did stay until the end. He said he was thankful this was his first public appearance. He said he is ready to return to work.
After two hours of celebration in song, retired Navy Chaplain Capt. Jerry McNabb said the nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles has moved away from what makes the United States of America great.
“We have moved from reliance upon You and Your strength, to relying on our own power,” he said in the closing prayer. “We as a nation have begun the process of moving from the free market to that of entitlement.”
McNabb said the country has moved away from absolutes in the Bible and have devalued life and decency.
“We as a nation have forgotten the blood-bought freedom and liberty we enjoy and have placed them on the alter of socialism to be sacrificed for a new nation made in the image of those in power,” he said. “We have removed the sanctity of the law of the land by ignoring those laws in the interest of certain agendas.”
He said the nation has replaced the true God with many gods of expediency and profit.
The chaplain said, “Help us to stand to our feet, place our shoulders back with pride and once again reaffirm our commitment to America and her foundation as a Christian nation and submit ourselves to the one true God.”
The gymnasium at Peerless Road Church of God of Prophecy was filled with 450 celebrants who were entertained by John Miles, Three Days Later and Voices of Lee under the direction of Danny Murray.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by Steve Orders and his 7-year-old son, Peyton.