Houstonians revel in music, fireworks and freedom

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The USA spirit could be seen and heard in the sea of people under the downtown Houston skyline.

They waited for fireworks in the sky, doing whatever they could to beat this heat. Gilbert Francis described how his family was keeping cool.

"This cool water, and ice. Water and I don't know what that thing is she's drinking," he said.

Norma Werbiski said, "I didn't come out quite as early so it wouldn't be so hot."

"These cool fans they gave us when we walked in," Ryan Wong added.

But the organizers who spent the week setting up say they don't mind.

"We've been dodging rain and thunderstorms the last five or six years," said Susan Christian with the Mayor's Office of Special Events said. "I'll take the sun."

Everyone was looking forward to the setting sun, the headliner on stage and the fireworks finale.

This Fourth, Houstonians are really thinking about what's behind the red, white and blue.

"At this point, the way the country is, it means a lot," siad Norma Werbiski said. "Make your own choices and appreciate what we have every day."

There was a surprise tribute in the fireworks, lifting up those with heavy hearts from local flooding to terrorism.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said, "What a better day than today for all of us to come together, be proud of being Houstonians, be proud of being Americans, celebrate our freedom and let the world know we are not intimidated by those who would like to inflict harm on other folk."

"America is the greatest country in the world. We're here to celebrate our freedom and we have a veteran right here," said Ryan Wong.

Veteran Paul Shireman added, "I always get teary eyed. I'm a veteran and I'm retired. Brings it all home."

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