Fireworks mean fun, freedom to local veteran

Camille Doty

July 3, 2011 at 2:03 a.m.

Ian Ybarra, 10, Aoghdan Potter, 12, and Savana Meiners, 6, watch the fireworks show on the beach in Port O'Connor on Saturday.

Ian Ybarra, 10, Aoghdan Potter, 12, and Savana Meiners, 6, watch the fireworks show on the beach in Port O'Connor on Saturday.

PORT O'CONNOR - David Cortright continued his holiday tradition of watching the fireworks with his family Saturday evening.

The festivities mean more to Cortright than just something fun to do. To him, it represents freedom.

"Some of the little kids may not know what the Fourth of July represents. It's our Independence Day," he said. Cortright even took a vacation this weekend so he can celebrate.

For the last 15 years, he's celebrated the national holiday with his family. The Mission Valley resident said the firework show at the King Fisher Front Beach Park is one of the prettiest shows he's ever seen.

Saturday evening, the Cortrights and thousands of spectators anxiously awaited the explosive spectacle.

Lawn chairs and blankets covered the bayfront area. Some sand castles built by little patriots popped up in between people and chairs.

As soon as it turned dark, people began to light sparklers, and then came the fireworks. Each one launched appeared to fade then, just before it had disappeared, it exploded in bright colors. The volatile sounds were a contrast to the bay's calm waters. The fireworks made heart-stopping sounds for about 45 minutes.

Festival lovers, young and old, oohed and ahhed as fireworks changed colors and stretched across the sky. To add to the effect, there were brief but dramatic pauses to let spectators catch their breath. Some fireworks sparkled like a chandelier.

The glittery ones were Lisa Cortright's favorites.

"I like the gold-looking ones," she said.

Although, the show was a beautiful sight, Cortright remembers the men and women of service. During the holiday weekend, the father of two flies American and POW-MIA flags in his bright-orange Jeep.

"I meet Vietnam veterans who tell me how much they like to see it," he said. It's his way of paying homage to them.

The 46-year-old father served in the Coast Guard for two years.

Cortright said he enjoyed the show in Port O' Connor. And on Monday evening, he said, he will take his family to the fireworks show at the Victoria Mall. He plans to have more fun with wife, Lisa, and teenagers, Cody and Ashley.

The Inteplast shift supervisor said he doesn't plan to compare the shows. But he said one thing will remain consistent: "You'll probably see me in this Jeep with the flags in the air."



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