BELTON, TX (FOX 44) – Americans are celebrating the 4th of July across the country, and Belton is one of the many places with activities throughout the day.

Thousands of people lined the streets today stretching over a mile and a half for Belton’s annual 4th of July parade.

This parade is a part of who John Alexander is…from choosing a home on the parade route to being a Vietnam veteran, it’s safe to say he loves the 4th of July.

“Nationwide, it’s one of the major parades in this country,” Alexander said. “And so I made up my mind many years ago that I was going to live on Main Street, and I was going to watch the parade before I even bought this house.”

He did five tours in Vietnam, and this day has a deep meaning for him.

“A lot of guys I knew didn’t come back,” Alexander said. “So it means a whole lot.”

Living on the parade route was his goal for a long time.

“I always told my lovely bride that when we could afford to buy a house, I’d like to buy this house so that we could watch the parade on July the Fourth.”

Living there for the last 36 years, there are people who come by each year to stop at his house during the parade.

“They’re just as good as the friends that I see every day,” Alexander said.

He says he thinks people have misinterpreted what freedom means.

“People think that freedom is the freedom to do what they want, and it is not at all,” Alexander said. “It is the freedom to do what you should.”

Jessica Ellison brought her loved ones to the parade from Ohio.

“This is the best parade in all of Texas,” Ellison said. “And it did not disappoint. This is awesome.”

One woman said this is a tradition she has done since she was little. Now, she takes her kids to it.

“Getting to share with them my traditions, it’s just an honor,” She said.