ENFIELD, Conn. (WWLP) – Two years without a Fourth of July parade would have been too much of a disappointment for residents in Enfield, Connecticut.

The parade Saturday payed its respects to the men and women in uniform who uphold the meaning of Independence Day.

Military groups were front and center as they should be during this celebration of a nation. Townspeople including visitors from western Massachusetts gave them a stirring welcome as they marched down Enfield Street from Old Town Hall.

“We weren’t originally planning to have a parade this year,” said Parade Director Greg Stokes. “We only had the fireworks planned, but when the Memorial Day parade got rained out, we did this in three-and-a-half weeks…. Great people worked with me.”

The greatest applause and loudest cheers went to the contingent of Vietnam Veterans as they waved to the crowd. Onlookers bowed their heads out of respect as the float approached them, bearing the images on men in uniform from Enfield and neighboring towns who lost their lives during the Gulf War.

It was a fitting tribute appreciated by the large turnout of families along the parade route, who like so many before them came to help America celebrate its birthday on a 4th of July weekend.