Ozarks Veterans Reflect on 4th of July

By Matt Lupoli | mlupoli@kolr10.com, Daniel Shedd | dshedd@kolr10.com

Published 07/04 2014 10:27PM

Updated 07/04 2014 10:44PM

BATTLEFIELD, Mo. -- As Independence Day fireworks filled the sky across the Ozarks on Friday night, KOLR 10 asked veterans to speak about the importance of freedom.

"The sacrifice that was made. For people to come out here and listen to a band and have the barbecue and eat the foot and have a good time, but remember the sacrifice," veteran Robert Tallbird said. "This is all part of our freedom."

Tallbird attended the Fireworks in the Park celebration at the Trail of Tears Park in Battlefield, along with thousands of others. Veterans were honored during the event with a special recognition.

"I just think that those who have given of their time of their energy and many their lives, we must never forget them and must do everything we can to recognize their effort," Battlefield Mayor Debra Hickey said.

Veteran Jock Morton spent 20 years in the military. He said he's glad to be able sit back and celebrate with the usual 4th of July fare.

"It's still the greatest country on Earth. I'd rather be here than anywhere else," veteran Jock Morton said.

Some local businesses also recognized veterans on Independence Day. In Springfield, at In & Out Car Wash, those who served received free service.

"I certainly appreciate it," veterans John Akins said.

"It's our way of giving back to veterans for giving to us if it wasn't for them we wouldn't have this great country that we do have," manager Jeff Scott said.

Akins said he hopes everyone will remember the cost of freedom.

"I hope it is rolls in the younger generation how important military servicemen are to our country and where we wouldn't be if we didn't have them," he said.

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