There’s something about Jacksonville Beach, especially around the time of The Fourth of July. In Jax Beach, the whole American aspect can be seen at its fullest aptitude. Boys and girls of all ages line up and down on the Jacksonville Beach roads in gleaming attire consisting mostly, of course, of red, white and blue. Whether these Jacksonville Beach goers are locals or not, they sure know how to party, and I mean that in the best way.

It’s hard to describe to someone who has never experienced celebrating the Fourth at Jacksonville Beach what it is truly like when a great community of people are welcoming and all in for one thing, to honor the absolutely amazing blessing it is to be an American. Biking or walking from house to house, people are greeting one another and celebrating in the most appropriate way — hot dogs, hamburgers, beer and liquor.

Every year, after each Jacksonville Beach goer celebrates the great country of America all day, the city closes down the party with a firework show from the Jacksonville Beach Pier. Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Matthew’s destruction of the pier, the firework show had to be relocated a bit closer to the shore, and JBPD was forced to close off a section of the beach for the safety of onlookers. This caused slight confusion for those waiting to see the spectacular light show, but nonetheless, the show took place! Everyone cheered as the fireworks bursted in the air over the ocean, leaving a proud feeling in the hearts of each American.

After another amazing Fourth of July celebration at Jacksonville Beach, things took a dark turn early into the morning of Wednesday, July 5, just several hours after the firework show at the Jacksonville Beach Pier. As people continued to party on at the Jacksonville Beach bars and set off fireworks, nearby gun shots were muffled out by the noise. By the time people in the surrounding area realized what had taken place, people scattered away quickly.

It has been reported by many local Jacksonville news stations such as News4Jax, Action News Jax, and The Florida Times-Union that a deadly double-shooting took place leaving one man dead and another injured. Around 1 a.m., a man’s body was located near the Seawalk Pavillion. Later identified as 23 year old Glen Mitchell Jr., who friends reportedly knew as “Gleet.” He was a Jacksonville local who attended Sandalwood High School. The young man passed hours after being brought into a local hospital.

Here’s to hoping many of you had an amazing time celebrating our great country on the Fourth, and here’s to those grieving loved ones that they were unable to celebrate with. While partying and celebrating is always the move on the Fourth of July, it is important for all of us to keep in mind the dangers that come with mixing alcohol with other activities. Jacksonville Beach is a place filled with fun-loving people, but it is important to remember that danger and evil still lurk in even the sunniest of places.