By Heather Kline and Amanda Sullivan
As the Fort Leonard Wood community gets ready to celebrate the Fourth of July and the 244th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the GUIDON asked nine Fort Leonard Wood children what the day means to them.
Grace Quander, age 14
The Fourth of July is important to me because it is the day America declared its independence. To celebrate this day, we watch fireworks, eat barbecue and spend time with family. If it were not for the Soldiers, we wouldn’t have the free country we have today. I will always be thankful that I live in freedom and with the people I love.
Garrett Meade, age 13
The patriots from long ago signed the Declaration of Independence, winning our freedom from England. We celebrate the freedoms of life because of our military people and how they fight for us. I love the time I get to spend with my family, barbecue food and watch fireworks.
Jacen Krammer, age 12
The Fourth of July means a lot to me for two reasons: First, it marks and celebrates our freedom from the British. Also, my mom makes our whole family dress in red, white and blue. It’s a fun, patriotic tradition, and we like it. Then, we go out together in the evening to watch the awesome firework displays. I look forward to it every summer.
Mason Hilburgh, age 11
It means that I can be who I want to be. I can go to the school I want and the college I want. It is my choice to create my future.
Maylana Registe, age 9
The Fourth of July means celebrating America’s birthday and being free. It also means we get to watch fireworks and have get-togethers with our family and friends, and that makes me happy.
Leslie Drockton, age 8
I think Independence Day means that you don’t give up. And it also means bravery.
Ayden Hunt, age 7
The Fourth of July means my mommy doesn’t have to go to work and we get to shoot a million fireworks. We have a barbecue with too much food, too.
Kenzie Richards, age 7
I get to go camping with my family on the Fourth of July. I am glad I can always be independent. My mom calls me the firecracker.
Iillaina Marie Kiral, age 12
It’s the day we celebrate gaining our freedoms. When I look up at the fireworks, it reminds me of the ones who have died fighting for our freedoms. When we can be together on the Fourth of July, my mom and I go fishing and fry up what we catch. We are the catfish queens.