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‘Celebrate Freedom’ begins in Harrison County

While “America Strikes Back,” the tagline used for the military operations against Osama bin Laden and others responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks on the United States, Harrison Countians are planning their own strategy.
“Celebrate Freedom” is the name that’s been given to the project that Linda Stocksdale, director of the Harrison County Parks Dept., hopes will become a “community-sponsored event.”
The parks department, the Friends of Harrison County Parks and the Harrison County Senior Friends Club are now working on a project for military personnel.
“Other groups have done things to help the victims of the attacks, but we waited until now to get involved because we knew there would be military action,” Stocksdale said.
Stocksdale and several members of the Senior Friends Club were on their way to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on Sept. 11. They learned about the attacks when they stopped for lunch. The next day, as they attended country-music shows in Pigeon Forge, the performers had some type of tribute to the victims, Stocksdale said.
This is not the first time the parks department has worked on a project for servicemen and women. During “Desert Storm,” they collected money to purchase cookies to send overseas. For each case they bought, McDonald’s donated a case.
Cookies may be sent again, but Celebrate Freedom organizers are hoping to do other things, such as purchasing phone cards to send to military personnel, and having school children write letters and draw pictures to send overseas, and make ribbons to show support.
“We’re asking for suggestions,” Stocksdale said.
Persons interested in helping with Celebrate Freedom are urged to attend a planning meeting Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Harrison County Annex, 124 S. Mulberry St., Corydon.
“We’re trying to get the churches and other groups involved by having fund-raising breakfasts or dinners to raise money for the military,” Stocksdale said.
Businesses are being asked to donate items for an auction Dec. 1 at the Corydon Presbyterian Church.
Harrison County residents with loved ones in the military are asked to submit those names and addresses to the parks department so they will receive items.
“The loved ones don’t have to live in the county,” Stocksdale added.
Stocksdale said they are talking with military personnel to see what other items might be helpful that are not provided by the government.
“Celebrate Freedom is not just about people donating money,” she said. “It’s about donating their time, too. It’s going to take time to make the ribbons and time to put stamps on the letters.
“We just want to show our support,” Stocksdale said. “We intend for this to be an on-going project as long as this military operation lasts.”