Posted on July 4, 2012 at 6:34 AM
Wednesday, Jul 4 at 9:48 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- They came to celebrate The Fourth of July a day early. Thousands of people sprawled throughout Symphony Park in SouthPark to listen to the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and watch a fireworks display Tuesday night. In the crowd, three men who helped make it all possible. They are veterans.
John Roach and Bill Parker have attended the Fourth of July Symphony Celebration for years. On Tuesday night Parker recalled his days in the service, stationed abroad, and unable to be with family on holidays.
"Mail call was a big thing," he said. "The First Sergeant would come in and we'd all wonder whether we got mail. If we did, we'd jump for joy because we knew we'd hear from back home," he said.
John Roach has empathy for the men and women still serving overseas today. "The guys who are not with their families, miss them. It's hard on a day like this, today. It's real hard, real rough," he said.
And Tom Cannon echoed that sentiment when asked how Americans should think of the men and women serving overseas now.
"I'm glad to be an American," he said. "I think what they're doing is important. We owe them a lot for making those sacrifices," he said.
The Symphony in the Park celebration wasn't the only early celebration. Harrisburg held a festival, Hickory held a parade and there was music in Mooresville, all thanks to our men and women in uniform.