Scranton, Lackawanna County - In large cities and small towns across the country, people took time Wednesday to honor the meaning behind the July 4th holiday.
Dozens of people turned out for the annual Independence Day Celebration at Nay Aug Park in Scranton.
The mood was set early as the Ringgold Pops of Scranton played patriotic tunes.
Many people say the service is one that they would never miss.
"I could sit and I could cry when I ehar these songs," Marie Laske of Scranton said. "We have it so good in America and you don't know how good unless you were overseas."
Veterans from wars dating back to World War II were in Wednesday's crowd.
The event featured a rifle salute and the raising of the American flag.
"It makes me feel very proud, very proud," Hal Finkelstein of Scranton said. "As I told my wife before, I get a certain feeling everytime I come here every year."
Michael Semian, the Gino Merli Veterans Center Commandant, served as keynote speaker.
He talked about what the federal holiday is all about, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
"Imagine almost 236 years ago, a group of patriots put together ideas on paper," Semian said. "They were simple as well as revoluntary."
For those in the crowd, some worry if we might be losing some of the freedoms we hold so dear.
"I can see where we're losing it and if we don't stop or start coming to things like this and showing ourselves and our interests, I'm afraid we're going to lose a lot more," Tom Ungvarsky of Scranton said.