Benny Harding was only 3 years old when he and his parents, Harry and Dorothy Harding, arrived in Kansas City.
"My folks survived the Holocaust," said Harding, who now lives in Leawood. "My father was in eight concentration camps. My mother was 12 when she went to the concentration camp."
Harding was born in a displaced persons camp.
He remembers the way his mother talks about the day they arrived in Kansas City.
"It was terribly hot. I remember my parents said that they were dressed in whole clothing and coats. We were in the middle of Union Station and it was hustling and bustling," Harding said. "I will always remember my mother talking about how she looked out the window of our hotel. She would describe it as they were dancing in the streets. She said this is going to be a good place for us."
The Fourth of July is a special day for the Harding family. For them, it symbolizes a new beginning in the land of dreams.
"We don't take anything for granted," Harding said. "July 4 in my household has always been special. And this year will be no exception. We will gather together even if it does rain. We will celebrate and remember that this was the starting point."
Richard Sharp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.