By Michael Abeyta

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – On the 4th of July, it’s easy to get lost in the spectacles of parades, the fireworks, and the blatant, unabashed patriotism.

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(credit: CBS)

After all, who doesn’t love to celebrate our nation? Arnie Brockmire certainly does.

He’s a patriot and he isn’t afraid to admit it. That’s why he hated looking at the flag in front of his apartment building.

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Arnie Brockmire (credit: CBS)

“It’s a small flag. It’s 10 foot tall, and it’s right against the wall and can’t fly.”

He decided to do something about it. Arnie and the other veterans in his retirement home in Lakewood raised money to buy a new flag and flag pole.

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(credit: CBS)

“I wasn’t going to be stopped” Arnie said.

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(credit: CBS)

On Wednesday, they had their own 4th of July celebration to raise their new flag. It was small, and didn’t go off without a hitch. They asked a bugler to play a song for their ceremony. That didn’t happen.

“He was going to play the bugle, but we didn’t give him enough notice” explains Brockmire. He admits, “We gave him the wrong song.”

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(credit: CBS)

Even with the mishaps, it was maybe the most patriotic celebration in Colorado. Not just because it was put on by a dozen veterans, but because it showed that true American patriotism isn’t about who celebrates the most, but rather about who loves their country enough to make it better.

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Arnie’s latest effort makes him emotional.

“Oh God, I’m so proud I want to cry,” he said. “Yeah… it makes me very proud.”

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

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