Portland man spends 4th of July paying tribute to fallen heroes - WSMV Channel 4

Portland man spends Fourth of July paying tribute to fallen heroes

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As the nation celebrates Independence Day, it's important to remember those who gave their lives to protect our freedom.

That's the message behind Ronnie Monday's unique Fourth of July celebration.

"Something needed to be done to recognize the people who died for our freedoms," Monday said.

From the war that was supposed to end all wars to the nation's current conflicts, the little town of Portland, TN, has provided more than its share of heroes.

"We have a very big population of the community here who have served in the wars, men and women both," said Mayor Ken Wilber.

Thirty-seven of those people died in that service, and all of them have flags raised in their honor in Portland.

"It's bodies, it's people, it's Americans," Monday said.

He started this project for his buddy, Raymond, who he served with in Vietnam.

He came back, but Raymond didn't.

"We dedicated this memorial display to Raymond's memory and in his honor," Monday said.

On Friday, he and Mayor Wilber made sure that all 37 flags were in place so that those on the way to the fireworks would remember why this day is important.

"I want them to know that freedom is not free. It's a cost of human life," Monday said. "That flag represents people who have died."

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