By Jacqueline Quynh

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – The crowds were back for in-person 4th of July fun, and many think it’s starting to feel a lot more normal.

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The lines began early at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, hundreds waited to see World War II warbird, the Sentimental Journey, a B-17 bomber.

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“We don’t take our freedom for granted, the 4th July, and you know that freedom we fought over the British over 200 years ago, but also in World War II defending our freedom,” Mike Garrett, Commemorative Air Force Tour and Air Show Coordinator said.

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From seeing history in action, to getting up early to save a space at  Broomfield County Commons Park.

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“Last year we were in the house watching it from the window,” Desiree Sanders, park-goer said.

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Sanders and her kids were glad to be back doing something they missed, though they know COVID-19 is still out there.

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“It’s not a fear because I take my precautions with my children, we’re always sanitizing,” she explained.

Others missed seeing familiar faces.

“Being back really helps you understand how grateful you are,” Sheila Wirick, another park-goer said.

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After a pandemic year, this 4th feels like there’s a new reason to celebrate freedom.

Jacqueline Quynh