Thousands lined the streets in Pike County to catch the community of Meeksville's Fourth of July parade. Veterans who were there say the event was more than floats, sparklers and barbecue.
Many folks spent the day in Meeksville dressed in their finest red, white and blue, waving American flags, and celebrating the Fourth of July with family and friends. But to some veterans the festivities meant more. They say it was a time to reflect on freedom.
"It's old fashioned. Anybody can participate," says Pike County resident Lee Scott. "You don't have to worry about signing up. You just come!"
In all shapes and sizes, hundreds of floats paraded down the streets in the Pike County community of Meeksville.
Spectators came from across the country.
"There's not much of anything in Atlanta that's like this," says Caroline Jeffcoat.
They lined the streets for miles all to celebrate America's Birthday.
"It's a celebration of our independence, and a lot of countries in this world don't have that today," says Vivian Coleman, who attends every year.
The festivities took special meaning to Vietnam Veteran Donnie Daniels. He says it's a time to remember those who have fought and are still fighting for our country's freedom.
"Some gave some, and some gave all. There was a price to pay. Freedom is not free," says Daniels.
And as the stars and stripes fly high over Meeksville, Daniels is hoping the flag helps folks remember the true meaning of Independence Day.
"We live in the best country in the world, but there was a price that was paid," he says.
Daniels says if you know anyone who has served or is serving our country, to please take the time this Fourth of July and say thanks.
Organizers say more than 3,000 people attended the parade in Meeksville.