People celebrate Anglo-German heritage at the annual 4th of July event

While some marched in parades this July 4, others celebrated the day’s history inside a church.

The Hall County Historical Society held its annual German-English church service Thursday morning at the Stuhr Museum.

For Fred Roeser, president of the Hall County Historical Society, it’s a day to celebrate his deep roots in the community.

“We really have to remember the first pioneers and the beginning of Grand Island. The beginning of the community. My ancestors were part of this group. My great, great-grandfather was William Stolley. He was one of the people most important to getting this group here on Grand Island,” Roeser said.

The service commemorates German immigrants who arrived in Hall County in 1857.

People packed the Danish Lutheran Church for the event. They sang songs in German and English and listened to a sermon given by Reverend Paul Hofricter and his wife, who spent 17 years in Germany on a mission.

The Liederkranz Singers came to sing in the choir and Elizabeth Hodwalker played the organ.

Roeser said socializing with people was her favorite part of the day.

“I’m not a big fan of fireworks. I know my kids and grandkids are all excited about the 4th of July, but I just love the gatherings of people and the socializing,” Roeser said.