The Fourth means so much to many Americans that it ends up in their obituaries.

The Fourth of July and the Christmas/New Year season come almost exactly six months after one another. It’s a happy coincidence that the nation’s birthday and the winter holidays are spaced halfway around the calendar year—because it means that, in addition to celebrating the holidays themselves, many American families and communities have the occasion to gather and celebrate togetherness both in winter and in summer.

Independence Day gatherings hold a large place in millions of Americans’ hearts—a fact that’s apparent in reading the obituaries. Time and time again, we see family members taking the time to remember that the Fourth of July was one of the most cherished days in their loved ones’ lives.

For instance:

From The State in Columbia, S.C.: “For over forty years, Wilma was hostess to the Pound Family BBQ on the Fourth of July, opening her home to as many as 200 who came to enjoy the food and bluegrass music by Junior Lucas and his companions. It is said that she never met a stranger; she had hugs and kisses for everyone. To her, the telephone was man's greatest invention because it helped her communicate with others whom she loved. It cannot be estimated the number of cakes she baked for others…”

From the Juneau Empire in Alaska: “In addition to being an electronic wizard, Dick was a renowned trombone player whose band played at many dances. He marched in dozens of Fourth of July parades through Juneau and Douglas. In recent years, he continued to parade and play from a wheelchair. He was the Grand Marshal of the 2014 parades...”

From the Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, Colo.: “Helen entered heaven early Friday morning in order to get a better view of the Fourth of July celebrations… Her life's passion was supporting the causes of American veterans and ensuring that women were properly recognized for their service as part of the Armed Forces. The documentary ‘Women of War’ was her brainchild. Though barely five feet tall, Helen was as tough as nails in her fight for American values—her blood ran red, white, and blue...”

From the News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash.: “Perhaps Muriel's greatest joy during the last three decades was her relationship with her grandchildren. She spent significant individual and collective time with all of them, at all stages of their lives. Holidays were important to Muriel, because they brought family together. The Fourth of July was the most special day annually because Muriel hosted her extended family for a picnic celebration every year for more than 55 years at three different waterfront homes, with gatherings that reached up to 50 guests…”

From the Hartford Courant in Connecticut: “Over the years, Rupert patiently and thoroughly trained many young engineers as they were hired into the company, and they were able to quickly become contributors due to Rupert's generosity with time and knowledge sharing. Through these efforts, Rupert helped provide the nuclear industry world-wide with the next generation of technical leaders. In his spare time, Rupert was an avid gardener and thoroughly enjoyed listening to Reggae music, especially Bob Marley. He loved to entertain family and friends at his annual Fourth of July cookout, which he and his wife Yvonne hosted for 32 years. He left a legacy of love and faithfulness which is imprinted on the hearts of all who knew him.”