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Celebrating independence
Fourth - kids.jpg
Piper and Devin Watson are ready for Saturday's Yankee Doodle Parade. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Piper and Devin Watson smiled as they were handed a flag Saturday morning by Exchange Club member Ken Roberts. 

The sisters were already showing their patriotic pride, decked out in red, white and blue for the Yankee Doodle Children’s Parade in downtown McMinnville.

Handing out flags is a more than 40-year tradition for Roberts, who joined the Exchange Club in 1977 and has been distributing flags on the Fourth of July ever since.

“The Exchange Club believes on special days it’s important to give a kid a flag,” said Roberts, who has served as National Exchange Club President during his tenure with the service organization. “We like to focus on our country and we’re proud of our country.”

Fourth of July celebrations took place around Warren County on Saturday, with Morrison and Centertown holding their events Saturday evening. Midway has its Fourth of July festivities set for Monday.

The Honor Guard helped launch Independence Day activities in downtown McMinnville by posting the colors and offering a 21-gun salute. In keeping with tradition, seven veterans fired three rounds.

“It’s a huge honor for us to do this,” said Honor Guard member Jerry Barnes.

In addition to holidays, the Honor Guard also posts colors and provides a 21-gun salute during military funerals to pay tribute to the veterans who served to protect our freedom and our independence.

“It’s a respectful thing to do for the people who served our country,” said Honor Guard member David Rigsby.