WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Independence Day came a day early for at the New Hanover County Senior Resource Center, where they held an Independence Day Celebration today to not only celebrate, but to honor those who gave it all.
Red, white, and blue were proudly displayed by many in attendance. People of all generations gathered to display their patriotism and to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice
"The focus here was freedom," said Emma Saunders, NC Senior Sweetheart Queen. "And that freedom comes with such a high cost, because so many people have died so that we could do exactly what we are doing today"
Among those in attendance were a group of women who had lost a son or daughter in war. For these Gold Star Mothers, Independence Day is an opportunity to celebrate the lives of their children and all other men and women who serve.
"Independence Day to me means I am honoring my son, not only my son and the others that have lost their life, but the ones that are serving in Afghanistan and Iraq and where ever they are serving," Gold Star Mother Vivien Scharver said.
"And during this 4th of July period, I think it is only appropriate that we focus on what they did and honor them," Gold Star Mother Virginia Rivenbark said.
Freedom was the one thought that continued to come to the minds of all those who attended the Independence Day celebration, and gratitude was their expression.