Nothing worthwhile in this life is ever accomplished without a lot of work and sacrifice. That's especially true when it comes to celebrating this country's birthday. We saw excellent examples of this selfless volunteerism over the weekend when our local civic groups organized 4th of July celebrations, capping the annual Independence Day event with some spectacular fireworks. We're fortunate in this area to be surrounded with a bountiful pool of resourceful and patriotic individuals from Mountain Park to Yadkinville and Elkin, all of whom put together some wonderful activities to honor our nation's birthday. But events like these don't just happen. For example, the Elkin Jaycees engineered their 15th annual 4th of July celebration with the help from town officials and other sponsors who made sure there were plenty of fireworks -- 28 minutes to be exact -- to cap off a great evening. Members of the Jaycees, including Jody and Jeanette Rushbrook, John Orta and Patrick Terry are to be commended for their efforts. The 21 Jaycees members are familiar faces in the community who always seem to be there whenever you need them. The same is true of the Yadkinville Downtown Business Association, which is headed up by Hilda and Jerry Carlton. Over the years, the couple has labored tirelessly to make the 4th of July event a success. And this year was no exception. They were assisted this year by a couple of new recruits, Brenda Brown and Debbie Sharp. Since their efforts often go unnoticed, we wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks to the folks in Mountain Park, Elkin and Yadkinville for making this a memorable Independence Day. Without the steadfast and loyal devotion to your community and your country, we wouldn't have such a wonderful holiday to remember and make us proud.