July 4, 2008, Champaign, IL – Fireworks, parades, barbeque all help us celebrate independence day. But to veterans the holiday means so much more. They’re quick to tell you a joke or a tall-tale but ask a Veteran about America and it’s no laughing matter. This holiday is about a lot more than fireworks.
Hanging around with the veterans here in Champaign can mean a lot of laughs and good times. But when you sit down and ask them about what Independence day means to them you feel the pride and patriotism in an instance.
Veteran, Chuck Zelinksky said, “This is the day that says “Happy Birthday America”
Veteran, Richard Carder had similar thoughts, “You celebrate the independence that the veteran’s fought for.”
These men and women meet at their local veterans chapters to be a part of a bigger all American family.
Veteran supporter and president at American Legions, Nancy Phalen, knows why veterans meet at the American Legion, “Camaraderie they sit around and tell stories, some true some not.” “
Veteran, Daryl Hottman said, “Now that you get older you realize it means a lot mroe to you.”
“If it weren’t for them we would not be here, period,” said Phalen.
And that freedom comes at a price, “Just coming home to your family, military service you’re gone away from your family and you come home,” remembers Hottman.
Zelinsky wants us all to remember the true meaning of of the July 4th celebration, “We oughta stop and reflect sometime of the day what this is all about, we out to think about the flag, the flag that’s a symbol for our country and the freedom and the people that fought for it.”