Independence Day

Vin Scully: Reminding you that there’s a difference between July 4th and Independence Day

On behalf of all the veterans who walked into harm’s way to defend our country and our way of life, we’d like to remind everyone that there’s an important meaning behind each of our traditional American holidays.

Beginning with Independence Day on July 4th, we’re honored to present a growing series of Public Service Announcements, newspaper and magazine articles, videos, and other media on this page… reminding us about why these holidays are important:

Dodgers Legend Vin Scully Takes America ‘Back to School’ on July 4th

National Press Release – PR Web LINK

Baseball icon and Navy vet leads an inspirational campaign on the reasons behind American holidays

Camarillo, CA July 1, 2022 – Next time you bite into that hot dog at a “4th of July” barbecue, Dodgers baseball legend Vin Scully wants you to taste freedom instead of a frankfurter. The 94-year-old Navy veteran we’ve known as baseball’s most beloved voice for seven decades is taking us back to school… to remind us that the hot dogs, the fireworks, and the day off of work are there for a reason.

Scully had come out of retirement a few years ago to be the voice of Gold Coast Veterans Foundation (GCVF), a Camarillo nonprofit known for rescuing homeless military veterans. The elder statesman of broadcasting has already lent his name and distinctive voice to radio and mail campaigns for the organization’s veteran rescue program, for its innovative new “Veterans’ Village” housing initiative, and even recording a holiday poem about a WW2 veteran’s widow that was rescued from homelessness.

The non-profit agency is proud and thankful for Scully’s support; Executive Director Bob Harris says “We’re honored beyond belief that Vin has given us his time and energy. He’s a very patriotic and humble American, loved by all. People are moved and inspired when they hear about our efforts through his voice. Even he doesn’t fully understand how much stronger our message becomes when he delivers it.”

Harris and Scully decided to send out a different, but equally important message in the latest radio spot. Raised in Philadelphia, where American history began, Harris felt that too many Americans love their July 4th barbecues, parades, and fireworks – but don’t stop to think about why it’s a holiday. “It’s Independence Day, not Hot Dogs and Fireworks Day;” Harris complained, “it’s about Jefferson and Franklin and the Declaration”. When he read a short script reminding radio listeners about this, Scully was moved… “Let’s record this right now!”

“Vin’s recording of ‘The Difference Between July 4th and Independence Day’ was originally supposed to be broadcast on KHAY 100.7 FM before the music accompanying the big fireworks displays in Ventura County,” says Harris; “but something incredible happened when military veterans, government officials, and local business owners heard Vin’s message. They’re starting a grassroots campaign to get this recording broadcast on every radio and TV station in America before the fireworks begin!”

Hearing this sparked an even bigger idea for Scully, who was already famous half a century before there was a new meaning for the word ‘viral’. He postulated; “Bob, what if we recorded a series of public service announcements like this one, reminding people of the meaning behind every major American holiday? They don’t teach this stuff in school as much as they should – some people just look at these holidays as a day off of work.”

With that, GCVF is now launching an effort to record short public service announcements for radio and TV, asking people to think about why we celebrate Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and other traditional holidays. The organization knows that while it’s not strictly a veteran matter, it’s what all American veterans fought to uphold.

For his part, Vin Scully is reaching out to other celebrities, athletes, and artists to join him in recording these public service messages, saying; “I hope my peers in sports, entertainment, and public life will embrace this opportunity to put the meaning back into these holidays; I’m proud to make it part of my own legacy for the future.”

To make these recordings available for broadcast in your area, contact GCVF at Bob.Harris@gcvf.org

Gold Coast Veterans Foundation provides everything to prevent or eliminate suffering and homelessness for American veterans. GCVF has now rescued over 230 veterans and family members from homelessness. All services are provided free of charge. http://www.gcvf.org (805) 482-6550

Reflecting on our Enduring Freedoms

by Lt. Col Alex Deraney, US Army Veteran Ret.
(originally published in VC Star newspaper, Ventura County)

The cement of this union is the heart-blood of every American. I do not believe there is on earth a government established on so immovable a basis. – Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1814

Iconic Dodgers sportscaster,Vin Scully, in his holiday public service announcement, makes an important point when asking us to discern the difference between the 4th of July and Independence Day. He notes that July 4th is a day of flags, parades, barbecues, fireworks and apple pie. Our national commemoration of declaring independence from tyranny, however, is an appropriate time to call to mind those who risked everything in order to guarantee American self-governance and those who took a sacred oath to stand as sentinels in the defense of our freedom for the last 246 years.

At the heart of the Revolution was the core belief that those who govern can only do so with the consent of the governed. This humble founding principle formed the foundation of what would become the most powerful country on the planet and from which flows the guarantee of freedom that her citizens so richly enjoy. Our forebearers won for us the right to have our voices heard, to peacefully protest and the right to choose the leaders we feel will govern well. Yet today we are inundated with reporting of American discontent of government, often resulting in mass protest, vitriol and even violent insurrection. Today’s 1776 banners and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags hearken back to the righteous outrage and helplessness that the colonists endured under British rule in the American colonies, but the years leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence offered an intolerable setting that would be alien to us today.

After the French and Indian wars, many colonists couldn’t grasp why the British Crown still needed to maintain an oppressive military presence in the colonies. Why, after fighting for and toiling on colonial land, were colonists forced to pay a series of taxes to fund the British military presence and the Crown’s colonial governors in the colonies? Colonists were forbidden from westward expansion, creating the widely-held belief that the Crown intended to limit colonial access to bountiful American lands and easier control of the colonists. Of greatest consequence, the colonists had no representation in British Parliament and the Crown repeatedly abolished colonial legislatures, laws and charters. To add insult to injury, the Crown implemented an act requiring the colonists to provide food and shelter to the same British troops whose abuses against the colonists were not accounted for and who had the authority to arrest and try colonists in jury-less military tribunals. Widespread indignation took hold in the American colonies as did the understanding that revolt meant a British civil war on American soil – with no guarantee of success.

The Declaration of Independence, as a statement of principles, would have meant little were it not for those who felt the duty to wager their fortunes, honor and lives for this noble cause. Of the 56 men who signed the declaration, 12 fought in battles as members of colonial militias; five were captured and imprisoned during the Revolutionary War; 17 lost property as a result of British raids; and five lost their fortunes in helping fund the Continental Army and state militias to battle the British military. With a population of approximately 2.5 million colonists inhabiting the 13 colonies, an estimated 35,000 Continental forces were killed as a result of War for American Independence. Proportionally, this would make the American Revolution the most costly conflict in American history. The freedoms we enjoy, or take for granted, were by no means free.

I remember hearing Vin Scully’s voice while watching sports on Dad’s lap in the mid 1970’s. Baseball, safety, comfort and the voice I’ll always associate with America. At 94, Mr. Scully asks us to remember who and what we are thankful for receiving on this Independence Day. To be sure, America faces some challenges. Soaring inflation, intervention in foreign wars, turbulent judicial decisions, hyper-partisan politics and antidemocratic movements are just a few current trends that create anxiety over the country’s future. But the liberties our colonial forbearers fought for, and our veterans stood watch over, still bless our lives as Americans. Our voices still matter and those who govern still do so with the consent of the governed. Mr. Scully asks us to thank those who have maintained our freedoms and to consider supporting veterans organizations like the Gold Coast Veterans Foundation, in order to put an end to the tragedy of veteran suffering and homelessness. On Independence Day, as we express our gratitude for those who stood for freedom and appreciate what it means to be a free nation, as Mr, Scully said, our fireworks are a little brighter and our apple pie a little sweeter.

Vin Scully
Vin Scully, Baseball Legend and WW2 Navy Veteran:
The Difference between July 4th and Independence Day 1:44 Radio PSA
(originally broadcast on KHAY and KBBY FM radio, Ventura County)

 

Vin Scully, Baseball Legend and WW2 Navy Veteran:
Over 200 Veterans Rescued 30 sec. Radio PSA
(originally broadcast on KHAY and KBBY FM radio, Ventura County)