Between the sizzling sounds of the barbecue and the booming tunes from the jukebox, family and friends gather at the VFW Post 549 to celebrate Independence Day. Susan Warner, the commander of the post was on hot dog duty, helping cook all the meats for the meal.

She is a veteran, serving as an ordinance officer in Desert Storm.

“As a female in Saudia Arabia, I saw how they couldn’t do things like drive,” she said. “The freedoms that we have in this country, many countries don’t have.”

So she said the Fourth is about being thankful for those who fought for those freedoms.

“Thanking all of those service people who fought for us,” she said. “That we have the freedoms that we do.”

Inside the post, Robin Bizub greets all of the friends that had begun trickling into the bar with a hug and a smile. The day is special for him as an Army veteran.

“Tt means more to me because I’ve experienced what we’ve fought for,” Bizub said. “We can celebrate how every we want, it’s given us that freedom and every person here has done that.”

And Bizub hopes that beyond this meal, that people don’t forget that sacrifice.

“My hope is that in good times and bad times we don’t forget that we made our choices,” he said. “We fought for our own freedoms. We fought for the ability to have all of these problems but we also have the ability to solve them so I hope we don’t forget that.”