Staunton's parade Monday rolled through Gypsy Hill Park for about two hours, and everyone walked away with their own meaning of this year's Independence Day.
The calendar read July 4th, but for Edward Kier Sr., another date comes to mind.
"It means 1941 to me," he said. "When I volunteered the day after Pearl Harbor. That's what it means to me every year."
Marching Monday reminds him of the different world after he served in the North Pacific, a world of racism when he says blacks could not join the white VFW in Staunton.
"In 1945 when I came back to the United States, there was nobody here for me, nobody cheering me on for what I did," Kier explained.
But that wasn't the case Monday.
"We all get together to just celebrate the common cause for our troops in Iraq, to honor our veterans and those who have fought for our freedoms we have today," said Jenny Hildebrand, who watched the parade with her family.
And a time to cheer on the country and all sorts of parade entries.
"It's just a good time for us to spend together as a family because we work during the week all the time and it's just a good time to get out," Hildebrand said.