The rainy weather didn't stop thousands of people from attending the Independence Day Celebration at Fort Gordon.
"I like that it's family friendly. You know, don't feel nervous or anything like that. I enjoy all the different vendors and love the Swinging Medallions. So I enjoy hearing them play," says Jessica Howard of Wrens, GA.
The event had music, carnival rides and plenty of food. But those aren't the only reasons people keep celebrating at Fort Gordon every July 4th. Many there say it's about connecting.
"The community doesn't always have a first hand experience of the military. A lot of people's knowledge of the military is through movies or news and TV, or the war experience. And here they can talk to us face to face, find out what we are about, see that we don't have any secret agenda, we're just here to protect the people, serve the community and provide examples of leadership, and train leadership," says Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Gaskel.
As adults and children connect with our armed forces, they are also thinking about the importance of our country's independence.
"It just means freedom. Freedom to be myself in this country. Freedom to worship God and freedom to say what I want to say," says Howard.
"It's being an American, it's being a patriot, and good ol' Army all the way," says Miguel Carrion.
"The fourth of July is about taking time to recollect what we have done as a country. How far we've come and who has paid for it. And to celebrate what we have," says Gaskel.
But of course, the 20 minute fireworks display is also something to celebrate.
Fort Gordon officials say that the Independence Day Celebration didn't cost taxpayers a dime. Sponsors and vendors provided the funding for the event.
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