Remembering veterans on the Fourth of July

Published: Jul. 4, 2020 at 9:35 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Before the fireworks, cookouts, and fun on the beach, some are spending their time thanking veterans this Fourth of July.

“Just to come out to these community events is really important, simply because it does show that unity, which is what this country’s all about,” Warriors Watch Rider and veteran Mark Arnold said.

At Panama City Beach’s Veteran’s Memorial, people gathered, while staying socially distant, to remember the reason for the celebrations.

“Fourth of July represents the birth of our country, the creation of a nation, and we’re still growing, we’re still developing, we’re still struggling through different trials and tribulations, but I think we’re the best country in the world and I appreciate living here,” Senior Vice Commander Michael Taft said.

One local veteran, who is part of a group that regularly attends local veteran events and memorials, said he does everything he can to thank military members.

“It’s pretty simple, but it’s also complex as to why, you know, it’s just what I do, the way I feel, I just love this country,” Arnold said.

Arnold, who has a long family history of veterans, said he also wants to honor the reason behind the holiday.

“I’m just all-American, I’m a patriot, been brought up that way, so the Warriors Watch Riders we try to go out and do our thing to show our patriotism and our love for our country,” Arnold said.

Panama City Beach Vice Mayor Geoff McConnell said having this event is an important part of the city’s Fourth of July weekend.

“On July Fourth, the freedom that we have today is due to the veterans we have here today and across our country, to be able to provide us our freedoms, and so today it’s important to set aside the time to talk to them, give them thanks, and then go out and have fun on our Fourth of July with our softball and our games and have a good time,” said McConnell.

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