Examining Independence Day: Celebrating Unity and Contemplating Controversy

VView of USA Statue of Liberty and the American Flag

Celebrating the Stars and Stripes: Reflecting on Independence Day's Traditions. Image: Shutterstock/Angyalosi Beata

JULY 4th, known as Independence Day, holds great significance in the United States. It marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 when the country proclaimed its freedom from Great Britain. One of the most notable events that commemorate this historic occasion is the National Independence Day Parade. Held annually in Washington, D.C., this parade serves as a patriotic showcase of the nation’s heritage, diversity, and military strength.

The National Independence Day Parade takes place along Constitution Avenue, stretching from 7th Street to 17th Street in Washington, D.C. Thousands of spectators gather along the streets to witness the procession and display their support for the country. This event attracts participants from all 50 states of the Union, along with contingents from Puerto Rico and overseas territories. The diverse range of participants includes military bands, marching units, drill teams, floats, and various performers.

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Independence Day is celebrated throughout the United States, and several cities host spectacular events and fireworks displays. In Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell is tapped 13 times in honour of the original 13 American colonies. New York City’s fireworks display, sponsored by Macy’s, is one of the largest in the country, featuring over 22 tons of pyrotechnics. Major displays can also be witnessed in Seattle, San Diego, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend among some Americans, particularly younger individuals, to reconsider their participation in Independence Day celebrations. Questions surrounding the holiday’s historical context and its implications have sparked a critical examination of its meaning. According to a survey conducted by YouGov, 56 percent of American adults expressed their intention to partake in the festivities this year, indicating that a significant portion of the population still embraces the tradition.

However, there is a notable segment of the population engaging in conversations about the significance of Independence Day and whether it aligns with their values. The holiday’s controversial nature has prompted individuals, including celebrities, to voice their perspectives. Although artists such as Demi Lovato, Post Malone, and Sheryl Crow are set to perform in CNN’s Fourth of July Special, while Ja Rule will entertain a crowd at Coney Island as part of an Independence Day celebration. This ongoing dialogue reflects the evolving views and considerations surrounding the observance of Independence Day.

On Independence Day, Americans find themselves reflecting on the significance of this historic holiday. The National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C., stands as a symbol of unity, diversity, and patriotism, showcasing the nation’s heritage and military strength. The ongoing dialogue demonstrates the evolving views and considerations surrounding Independence Day. Ultimately, the celebration of America’s independence remains a deeply personal decision, reflecting the diversity of opinions and the continuous quest for understanding and unity among its citizens.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!