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Memorial Day weekend fireworks kick off near the boardwalk of Atlantic Beach May 24, 2014. The fireworks were a tribute for all those who have given their lives fighting in our nation’s wars.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua R. Heins

Atlantic Beach hosts Memorial Day fireworks

29 May 2014 | Lance Cpl. Joshua R. Heins

Friends and families from across Eastern North Carolina came together at Atlantic Beach May 24 for bright lights and the crackling pops of a free fireworks show given in tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation’s wars.

Many of Cherry Point’s own Marines attended the event, swarming the beach in groups to enjoy the night’s event.

“We came out early so we could relax on the beach before the show got started,” said Lance Cpl. Travis Stafford, a station property clerk with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “We were ecstatic for the fireworks to start.”

The show started at 9 p.m. just after sunset, the final sparkles of the sun’s rays kissing off the water on the warm Saturday evening.

Fireworks are a great way to kick off the holiday weekend and remember all the veterans who sacrificed their lives while serving, according to Stafford.

“It’s important that we take a moment and remember why we’re celebrating,” said Stafford.

Although there were nearly a thousand people in attendance, the show fostered a family friendly atmosphere and left audience members smiling and gasping for more.

“My wife and I came out to enjoy the show, and the atmosphere was great to bring out the family to as well,” said Dawson.

Both the Stafford and Dawson families intend to return next year to see the fireworks again.

“The show was a blast, and we can’t wait to come out to see it again next year,” said Dawson.