Let Freedom Ring vendors pay tribute to veterans during Independence Day celebration

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ELBA, Ala. (WTVY) - Some folks from the City of Elba flocked to the downtown square for the 2nd Annual Let Freedom Ring.

Several local groups took time out this evening remember those who fight for our independence.

"It's what Independence Day means,” said Elba Masonic Lodge 170 Master Ed Kelley. “You couldn't have gotten here without a veteran."

Ed Kelley and the rest of Elba’s Masonic Lodge wanted to make sure they remembered everyone who has fought for freedom during Elba’s Let Freedom Ring, so they incorporated their annual Christmas Cards for Veterans into the booth.

"A lot of them have no one else, so a lot of them spend Christmas alone and lonely,” said Kelley. “That might be the only acknowledgement they get, so it's a good thing."

The lodge hopes to deliver 500 cards to veterans at VA hospitals and nursing homes.

"I just merry Christmas, thank you for serving our country and everything,” said Waylon Barnett when asked what he wrote in his card to a veteran. “It means a lot."

While people were filling out cards, Elba’s Let Freedom Ring featured a parade, live music and fireworks over the court house.

"And of course, it wouldn't be a 4th of July celebration in the South without plenty of free watermelon."

The masonic lodge was giving away free watermelon slices and free whole watermelons at the booth as well, but they weren't the only ones supporting veterans at let freedom ring.

"Elba United Methodist Church called me last week to see if I'd make an appearance,” said CFO of Wounded Warriors of Alabama Bill Williams. “I said, ‘Sure.’ They're donating every last penny to us for this event."

All of the money raised by the church's hot dog stand will stay in the State of Alabama to help wounded warriors locally.

This was second year for the Let Freedom Ring celebration. Event coordinators are hoping to make it an annual staple.



 
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