By Cleve Bryan

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – The 2nd Annual Freedom Festival started off with a big bang Thursday aboard the Battleship New Jersey.

Former Marine Staff Sgt Matthew Litton from Philadelphia is a Wounded Warrior and was invited to fire a gun on the ship.

“It’s an honor for me to do this, honored that I was even selected,” says Litton who survived nearly 30 roadside bomb attacks during 2 infantry tours in Iraq.

The Freedom Festival runs Thursday through Sunday at the Camden Waterfront and includes live music, food, kids activities at Wiggins Park and is highlighted Saturday night with fireworks at the Adventure Aquarium.

“The 4th of July kicks off the summer at the Adventure Aquarium and this summer is all about hippos,” says AA executive director Kevin Keppel.

Visitors get an up close look at Genny and Button the Nile hippos.

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