Ringgold resident Maggie Torrisi watched and took pictures of the Catoosa County July 4 fireworks from a neighbor’s back yard near the Colonnade. Like many Americans, Torrisi loves her country and was deeply moved by the celebration of its independence, but she has some extra connections to our country’s quest for freedom.

One of Torrisi’s ancestors, Lyman Hall of Augusta, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Another ancestor, British captain Edward Spain, corresponded with Benjamin Franklin.

As if that isn’t enough, Torrisi served in the U.S. Air Force in the 1980s as one of the first women on a bomb loader. Two of her brothers and two of her sisters have also served in the military.

“My dad couldn’t serve,” says Torrisi, “because he lost a brother in World War II and was the last living son of his parents, but he raised us to serve.”

Torrisi says that she and her husband plan to embark on a tour of the United States: “My husband hasn’t been as many places as I have. We want to travel and see our country together.”

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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