A Marine Corps Veteran is celebrating Independence Day a little differently. While wearing stars and stripes, he dances and encourages drivers to honk their horns for America. With an original goal of 750 honks, he was able to hit over a thousand!
"We're super patriotic," said Nicholas Mitchell, as he cheered on cars on the streets. "I love my country and I want to bring smiles to everybody's face."
As a Marine, Mitchell was stationed in Hawaii for several years. That is where he met his friend, Craig, whom he lives with now. This gave him the opportunity to travel to many countries, and enhancing his appreciation for the United States.
"I cherish the fact that we live in the country we do," Mitchell said. "I've been all over the world in numerous countries where you start to more or less forget some of the freedoms that we do have and that we take for granted."
He moved to Williamsville just a month and a half ago from Texas and now lives with one of his fellow Marine buddies. They thought having the community come together a honk at a time was the perfect celebration. Although they received a noise complaint, a lot of neighbors and drivers were encouraging.
"I hope people get the idea that patriotism isn't something that you have to have a big parade down Main street," said Ed Gentner, one of Mitchell's neighbors. "It's something that you live everyday, and these kids do. It's only fitting that we honor them."
He added that it is important to recognize the brave men and women who have sacrificed a lot for the stars and stripes.
"When we came back 45 years ago, people were not that fond of the military," said Gentner. "Today we spend a lot more time honoring these kids. They go into harm's way for us and they don't ask for nothing."
This is a tradition Mitchell is starting now with his friends. He began doing this on Memorial Day, where his goal was 500. He left that day with 504 honks. On Independence Day, he exceeded his 750 goal. He reached more than 1,000 honks.
He plans to do this again on Veteran's Day, and asks for people to go "honk for America" by driving past his address on the 200th block of Evans Street.