Residents celebrate July 4th with a bang

Hundreds of area residents and families closed out their Fourth of July Thursday evening with Overton‘s annual fireworks show lakeside in the city park.

A few minutes before the night sky streaked with sparks of red, blue, green and orange, Henderson resident Hugh Brownley took time to reflect on what Independence Day means to him.

“I was in the military, so it means a lot to me,” Brownley said.

He served in the Air Force for 3 1/2 years during the 1950s in Korea. His son, Steve Brownley, traveled to Henderson from Huntsville to spend time with the family during the holiday.

Steve Brownley said for him, the Fourth of July is a time to enjoy the freedom of being able to come together.

“And we have a Constitution that says we can celebrate these types of things without somebody telling us what to do and what not to do,” he said.

The 55-minute show was backed by Arpco Valves & Controls and Philip Cox. The pyrotechnics were orchestrated by Pat Beets, Kevin Mackey, Mike Bell, Mike Cox, Scott Florey, and Stan Cox.

“We’re thankful for Arpco, Philip Cox, and the local businesses that made this possible,” Beets said. “This is what it’s all about, the community coming together to celebrate the freedoms we all enjoy.”

Overton Mayor C.R. “Coach” Evans agreed, adding the turnout was as big as he’s ever seen.

“It just goes to show that, we may be a small community, but we’ve got a big heart,” he said.

Rusk County native Ben William, who just last month returned home from active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, said it was a reminder of what he and his comrades were fighting for.

“When you’re over there, sometimes you can’t help but question what it’s all about,” he said. “But coming home, being with my family, enjoying the blessings of freedom and having a show like this […] it really brings home just what kind of home we have.”

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