July Fourth is a day filled with parades, cookouts and fireworks celebrations. But a special group of moms spent Tuesday morning at the St. Charles Riverfest Parade reminding people to also keep our military men and women in their thoughts.

“We’re here to just help celebrate the Fourth of July and to help everybody remember that we still have a lot of Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors still fighting,” said Gateway Blue Star Mothers president Julie Rodgers.

To help drive home the message, Rodgers and her group handed out toy soldiers to the crowd with a printed message.

“It says ‘Please accept this soldier as a reminder of our heroes serving this great country,’” said Rodgers.

The Blue Star Mothers were cheered and hugged as they marched along St. Charles Main Street.

“Knowing where my family has been and where my family is going, to see that people really do care here in St. Charles and across the country, it makes you stand up a little prouder,” said Blue Star Mother Lisa Lewis.

The Gateway Blue Star Mothers want families of active military members to know they're available for support and are always willing to add new members. Click here for more information about the group.