Raymond Benitez-Santana/Special for Fort Leavenworth Lamp
The 4th of July is a time of celebration for families in Fort Leavenworth. The community gathers to commemorate the founding of the United States and watch the fireworks.
For some families, Independence Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices they made in search of a new country that promises opportunity and freedom.
Salvatore Montalbano Sr. and his wife Antoinette visited Fort Leavenworth for the annual 4th of July celebration at Lake Merritt.
They are a first-generation Italian-American family from Sicily who came to the United States 56 years ago. Their daughter, Gina Montalbano, and her husband, retired Major Bryan Zesiger, operate a winery in Leavenworth.
Montalbano said his decision to immigrate worked out well.
“We come from Sicily; my daughter is second generation,” Montalbano said. “No one can beat this country. It’s the best country in the world. I know, I don’t speak (English) perfectly, but I’m fine.
Attendees listened and danced to music provided by a DJ, food stalls were available, and a salute drum set provided the Union salute before the fireworks.