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If you had the opportunity to be in Lakewood, Ohio, more specifically Lakewood Park, you witnessed a very unique 4th of July celebration. The city of Lakewood set out rules to be obeyed by all citizens who wished to celebrate Independence Day and from a review of the edicts there is no mistaking Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson for the author.

The purpose for the rules were laid out by Mayor Mike Summer who said, “There are more people at Lakewood Park for the Fourth of July than at any other time during the year. Safety is our first priority. These added security measures will help to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.”

Not to worry folks. While these rules (and promise of constant surveillance) on its face looks like a complete repudiation of the ideals set forth in the very Declaration of Independence that we were celebrating on July 4th, it is really just a simple bureaucratic mistake.

You see the city elders of Lakewood wanted to do something emblematic of the American Revolution. However, whoever was charged with the details simply googled the wrong revolution. You see there was another late 18th-centiry revolution that took place in France and between Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin being ambassadors to France and the Marquis de Lafayette fighting in the War for American Independence, the whole matter can get mucked up very easily. No doubt this is what happen as can be evidenced by the town’s staging of an authentic French-style Committee of Public Safety circa the 1790s. Voilá, the mystery, she is solved!

It is good to see that the mix-up didn’t spoil the celebration of root American values like “Safety as our first priority” and “Security measures are for your own good.” It is also conforming to know that public servants are striving to think outside the box to bring in tried and true methods for crime reduction.

So put down those sparklers for good and prepare to open your bags and coolers for inspection. Being safe is a trying job but sleep tight tonight America and know that someone is watching over you – always.

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