CLINTON — Clinton’s July 4th Festival Committee annually requests submissions from area kindergarten through fifth-grade students and selects a design for a commemorative button and logo for the current year’s festival.
The selection for the 2021 July 4th Festival was designed by Taylor Evans, a fifth-grade student at Prince of Peace schools and the daughter of Chris and Joy Evans of Clinton.
Taylor drew her inspiration from the Freedom Rock, recently placed along Riverview Drive and visible from the park, which is the site of the Festival.
Buttons, with this design, are available at select locations in Clinton, for a requested contribution to help defray expenses of the Festival.
In addition, the Festival committee announced that Henry Langrehr of Clinton will be this year’s parade grand marshal. Langrehr’s name and likeness are part of Freedom Rock art work.
Langrehr was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and was among the thousands of Allies who parachuted into occupied France as part of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. He survived heavy anti-aircraft fire, crashing through the glass roof of a greenhouse in Sainte-Mere-Eglise in occupied France. Along with the remaining members of his unit, he battled enemy tanks to a standstill.
On June 29, 1944 he was captured by the Nazis. Initially he was held in the outer ring of a death camp witnessing the horrors of the Final Solution. He was transported to a work camp and forced to work in a coal mine where prisoners were worked to death. Knowing his potential fate, he escaped, narrowly avoiding recapture, and, after several weeks surviving on his own, made his way to an American unit.
Langrehr’s tale of heroism, hope, and survival is the subject of his book “Whatever It Took,” co-authored with Jim DeFelice. The book details Henry’s exploits as well as those of his wife, Arlene, bringing to life the hopes and fears of those on the home front waiting the return of their loved ones.