Jackson County's "The Big Bang" honors veterans, raises awareness for homeless vets in Kansas City

LONGVIEW LAKE, Mo. - A fireworks show and concert, expected to draw well over 10,000 people for Independence Day, also served as a powerful reminder of the costs paid by our nation's veterans.

By some estimates, more than 1,800 veterans sleep on the streets of Kansas City.

That's why veterans group Stand Down was a major presence at this year's show, collecting donations and raising awareness for homeless veterans.

"The awareness is as important as the cause itself because 1,800 veterans on the streets of Kansas City every night is shameful," Art Fillmore, the group's president, said.

Stand Down volunteers stood watch over barrels of donated items as cover bands played music and World War Two veterans were honored.

Fillmore said he hopes that recognition of any veteran helps the condition of all.

"I think awareness of veterans in general and veterans plight helps all boats rise on a rising tide," he said. 

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