Independence Day began with an engagement, high above the parade ground at Virginia Military Institute.
Strong winds aloft prevented the hot air balloons from launching Friday morning at the Lexington Sunrise Rotary Club's annual balloon rally.

So Ben Shehan had to improvise.

But it all worked out when he and his girlfriend Brooklyn Jarvis went up in a tethered balloon.

"We were talking how beautiful it was with VMI in the background, and she turned around to take pictures,"  Shehan told WDBJ7.  "And she turned back around and I was down on one knee with the ring out, and asked her to be mine forever."

Brooklyn Jarvis told us she wasn't expecting a proposal. "No clue, but I'm still shocked and I'm shaking. I'm just glad that my family was here to see it and share this time with us."

And that was a major benefit of the tethered balloon ride. The couple's family and friends were able to watch the proposal from the ground.

And for the record, Brooklyn said yes.