PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A light breeze coming off the gulf ruffled the American flags lining Beach Boulevard. It was the perfect backdrop as dozens of families spend their day at Pascagoula's Beach Park celebrating America's Independence.
"Got out here at 7 this morning, getting ready to start cooking for the women, grandmas, mamas, aunties," said Josh Quinn.
Quinn and his family snagged some shade and a good spot for the night's fireworks. The smoke was steadily flowing from their full grill which Quinn called an American tradition.
"We just enjoy ourselves - it's like one big family reunion," he said.
In another part of the park, kids cooled off in the splash pad, while others took time to relax. But amidst the fun, those celebrating also reflected on what exactly the Fourth of July means to them.
"It means family, everybody getting together, no matter what issues they've got going on, black, white, purple, green, everybody's getting together to celebrate being American," said Shelby Lyons.
That diversity was clearly shown across the park.
For those with direct ties to the armed services, July 4th has an even deeper meaning.
"It's the reason why we chose to serve. It's cause we value the Constitution. It's one of the few places in the world where both government and citizens are able to work together to establish how they live their lives," said Timothy Vasconcellos.