Many in East Anchorage celebrated the Fourth of July for different reasons

Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 8:03 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Fourth of July celebrations in East Anchorage were in full swing and provided all the ingredients for a traditional celebration such as burgers, hot dogs and games.

Monday’s festivities were hosted by The Door Christian Fellowship Church in partnership with Victory Christian Center at Chanshtnu Muldoon Park, with those in attendance enjoying the free food and live music.

John Cortez, who is just one of the many event organizers for the celebration, serves as a pastor for the fellowship. His church is located near the Sullivan Arena and said he has closely watched the effects of its closing and its impacts on those experiencing homelessness.

Because of this, Cortez said he wanted Monday’s event to be a blessing to the community and chose the Fourth of July to do so, as he is a military veteran.

“I’ve been around the world and there’s no greater nation than the United States and Fourth of July is a time where we can all come together,” Cortez said. “We can look past our own political views and ideas and agree that the United States is great because of the freedom.”

It’s the same freedom that Sedjro Tovisouande, formerly from Africa, loves as he was able to celebrate his fifth Fourth of July holiday in America.

“We have some countries right now that don’t have the freedom we have in United States. They cannot express like they want, they cannot even have community like they want, the United States is the best country in the whole world,” Tovisouande said.

While many spend the holiday with their family and friends, some celebrate to remember those who are no longer here, like Michael Leach, who is an active military member at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

“It’s important to me because we have fallen soldiers who have fought for us, for our independence so we can do things like this with the community,” Leach said.

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