07/03/05 — Park dedicated in Pikeville

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Park dedicated in Pikeville

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 3, 2005 2:00 AM

PIKEVILLE -- About 100 people helped dedicate the park on the grounds of the old Pikeville School Saturday during the town's eighth Independence Day celebration.

The dedication of Minnie Dees Park on School Street kicked off a full day of events Saturday.

The celebration began Friday night with a 5K race, with 49 runners.

Events Saturday included the Pikeville Idol pageant. Michael Atkins won out of 12 contestants. Live entertainment followed, and the day ended with a fireworks demonstration by Dennis Lewis.

People say "it's the best you'll ever see," Cathie Hooks of Goldsboro said. She is a member of the Pikeville Lion's Club's committee that planned the event.

The master of ceremonies for the dedication was Pikeville Mayor and Lions Club member Herb Seiger, and he presented several speakers.

Wayne County Commissioner Vice Chairman Atlas Price said he comes to Pikeville often, and every time he comes, he sees growth.

State Sen. John Kerr of Goldsboro said people are going to be coming to Pikeville to spend their money when the new U.S. 117 highway opens, with three traffic interchanges between Goldsboro and Wilson. He said an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 cars a day will be driving by Pikeville.

July 4 is a special day to every one for different reasons, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones of Farmville said. He urged the people to not forget the sacrifice of those who did not return from battle and those who have come back but suffer but suffer mental and emotional scars.

Freedoms Americans enjoy come under fire and not always on the battlefield, he said. He told the crowd he recently was involved in a personnel committee hearing of the Armed Services Committee. He said there is a challenge at Annapolis about the way the students say the Pledge of Allegiance.

"We will not always be fired at with bullets," he said. "But we should be willing to do what we can to protect the Constitutional rights of the American people."

Some say Americans' freedoms are protected by the courts, and some say it's by political representation, But State Rep. Fred Smith of Clayton said he believes the rights we enjoy are protected primarily "by the soldier and the sailor."

He said Americans should put aside differences about public policy and be thankful for our freedoms.

State Rep. Louis Pate of Mount Olive said a lot of nations have come and have folded in the 229 years that America has been a nation. Democracy was untried at that time, he said, and today, "we're the most blessed and the richest nation in the world."