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Americans Mark July 4 Independence Day Holiday

Americans across the United States are attending barbecues, parades, fireworks displays and other events as the nation marks its birth 234 years ago.

The July 4 Independence Day holiday marks the occasion in 1776 when the 13 original U.S. colonies declared independence from Britain during a revolutionary war.

In Washington, DC, thousands of people are expected to converge on the National Mall for an annual festival featuring displays and events celebrating American heritage, and an Independence Day parade. Other activities in the nation's capital include re-enactments of the signing of the Declaration of Independence by actors portraying the nation's founders.

A few kilometers away at Mount Vernon, the home of the nation's first president, George Washington, organizers are hosting a wreath-laying at Washington's tomb and a naturalization ceremony for about 100 new U.S. citizens.

Later Sunday, there will be a televised concert and fireworks display over the National Mall. Similar events are planned in cities across the country.

President Barack Obama issued an Independence Day statement saying the tenacity, resolve and courage of the nation's founders, in the face of seemingly impossible odds, became the bedrock of the country.

The president also paid tribute to the men and women of the U.S. armed forces who are serving around the world or have given their lives in the line of duty.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.