WARREN - Warren residents Danielle Jenkins and Harlan Goldner understand the cost of freedom.
As veterans of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, they have fought for their country.
"You really appreciate your country when you are in a foreign land," Jenkins said.
Danielle Jenkins, left, and Harlan Goldner, both of Warren, watch the concert performance at Packard Music Hall in Warren. Jenkins and Goldner are U.S. Army veterans of the Vietnam War.
Thursday night, the two former military members headed to the W.D. Packard Music Hall for the annual Independence Day celebration.
"We come every year," Jenkins said. "It brings back memories of being in the military. Seeing everyone out here with the flags is a great thing."
Hundreds of red, white and blue-clad residents crowded onto the lawn outside of the hall for performances by singer Helen Welch and the W.D. Packard Concert Band. And when the sun went down, the concert was capped off by the city's annual fireworks show.
"I look forward to the band," Carole Scoggins of Cortland said earlier in the evening. "People don't realize what we have here."
Even the threat of rain could not keep the large crowd indoors on the balmy summer night.
"Last year, we got kind of rained on," Scoggins said. "This year has been better, at least so far."
Sandy Laugh of Niles commended the city for giving residents an entertaining evening at no cost.
"This is terrific and it's free," Laugh said. "In fact, all year long, the concerts and the different events they have are great."
For Hubbard resident B.J. Inskeep, she crowded onto the lawn with her family mainly to see the grand finale.
"Yeah, we're really looking forward to the fireworks," Inskeep said. "This is my second year coming out and I just love it."
Inskeep is also a former member of the military.
"I just like to enjoy, relax and listen to some good music," Inskeep said. "I like the way they honor the military."