One North Texas family is foregoing the hot dogs, fireworks and other Fourth of July traditions this Independence Day for something they say is more meaningful. In The Colony, the true meaning of the holiday is on full display.
There are certain things on a holiday, which bring people together.
"Normally, we do a barbecue, get the family together, go watch fireworks," said Tim Hall.
Hall and his wife Julie wanted to do something different this Independence Day.
"I don't know half of these people," Hall said. "I promise you in the next hour I will know all of these people."
People -- who showed up in their front yard -- to see their display.
"When you see it for the first time, it's pretty special," said Rodney Stovall. "Especially if you've served."
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Stovall did – he recently retired from the Army National Guard, where he was a colonel. His name is on the monument. Made of steel, it honors veterans and first responders.
"I actually know several of the people that are on here," he said. "So it's really special."
"We're just trying to put on a few names at a time," said Julie Hall. "And thank them for their service."
Dion Burks is a pastor in the Colony. He appreciates the gesture.
"I'm a veteran, both Army and Marines," Burks said. "So when he said he was doing this, I'm like, wow!"
The Halls said their reason for doing this is simple.
"I think it's important to know how important it is to shake somebody's hand and say 'thank you,'" Tim Hall said. "Seems like it's working. It's pretty exciting."
The Halls said the response – at times they had two dozen people in their front yard – was unexpected. Many signed the names of loved ones on the display. Suzanne Decker proudly showed a picture of her late father, who served in the Navy during World War II. Robert Newberry passed away last year.
"He was very proud of his country, and serving," Decker said. "He always said he'd go back and do it again."
These friends -- new and old -- shared a similar sentiment.
"It's very emotional," Burks said. "People say they're going to do something. As Tim showed, just do it."
Honor those who fought for freedom. And never forget.
"The things we've seen and heard, I wouldn't trade for anything," Hall said. "It's been the best Fourth of July ever."