Brandon, Florida -- There's reason we celebrate our nation's Declaration of Independence.
Read: Declaration of Independence
John Adams, the man who would become our country's first vice president and second president wrote to his wife on July 3, 1776 -- telling her of the Declaration of Independence, writing he was "apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival" adding later in the letter, "It ought to be celebrated with pomp and parade..."
236 years later, the more than 50-year tradition of pomp and parade in Brandon trumps on. As many as 30,000 people were expected to attend.
"I enjoy the family traditions and just the whole aspect of what the 4th of July stands for, supporting our troops, those that have served in the past and those that are continuing to serve," said Jennifer Carpenter.
For Alberto Sanchez, who fled his home country of Cuba as a child, it's a continued celebration of his independence as a U.S. citizen.
"For me, it means a lot because I came over here when I was a young kid and I'm going to be 52 years as a citizen, so I feel great," said Sanchez, who proudly waved his American flag.
The reason for this day wasn't lost on the proud Americans who lined the parade route along Parsons Avenue as a piece of steel from the World Trade Center rolled by on display--a reminder that the resolve to maintain this way of life continues today.
"As a proud American, I owe too much to this country, everything I have, I owe to this country, so I'm just happy," said George Iriza, a military veteran who says he attends the parade every year out of respect for his country.