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Independence Day honored at Calvary event

July 5, 2016 GMT

Thirty-four bikes were lined up in front of Calvary Baptist Church on Monday morning, the parking lot already packed with vehicles.

Red, white, and blue filled the entryway and adorned almost every person in attendance. Military uniforms were on display, among those attending Monday’s patriotic service and on mannequins.

A celebration of music, inspiration, and remembrance ensued kicking off Independence Day for hundreds of Havasu locals.

Duane Blackburn, Director of Worship and Arts at Hilltop Community Church, finished off the celebration with a performance of the Lee Greenwood song “God Bless the USA.” He’s been singing for events since college.

“The veterans who fought for us and the families who lost their loved ones,” Blackburn said, with tears in his eyes, “they created this freedom for us. So just being here and seeing that and all this, the pictures on the walls, and this whole moment of today is what I love about it. It’s why I do it.”

Motorcyclist Bob Denny said his favorite part about the celebration at Calvary is the simple fact that “we’re free to celebrate.” “The police officers this morning that brought us up here — we appreciate them for taking their time to do that. I don’t know of any place else, like other countries, who would let you do that. Freedom is the most important thing we have. Too many people died for that; we can’t let it go.”