News / USA

    Americans Celebrate 238th Anniversary of Nation's Independence

    President Barack Obama (L) watches as Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas administers the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, July 4, 2014, at the White House in Washington.
    President Barack Obama (L) watches as Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas administers the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, July 4, 2014, at the White House in Washington.
    Alex Villarreal

    Americans across the United States are celebrating the 238th anniversary of their country's independence from Britain with fireworks, parades, and picnics.

    Large Fourth of July fireworks displays and concerts are taking place in Washington on the National Mall and in New York City over the East River.

    Festivities in Washington also include re-enactors portraying founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.

    A firework show in Boston was held a day early so as not to be rained out by Hurricane Arthur which is making its way up the East Coast.

    Presidential push

    At the White House on Friday, President Barack Obama pressed again for immigration reform, as he welcomed 25 new U.S. citizens in a special Independence Day naturalization ceremony.

    Obama said the new citizens -- all U.S. service members or military spouses -- are a reminder that America "is and always has been a nation of immigrants."  

    Calling the current immigration system "broken," he pledged to do everything he can to make the system smarter and more efficient.

    "We shouldn't be making it harder for the best and brightest to come here and create jobs here and grow our economy here. We should be making it easier," said Obama.

    The immigration issue is back in the spotlight amid an influx of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America who have crossed into the United States illegally.

    The service members and spouses naturalized at the White House Friday joined President Obama for a barbecue and viewing of the annual Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall. President Obama praised those in the armed forces for signing up to fight for a country they did not fully belong to yet.
     
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recognized the holiday by calling U.S. service members in Afghanistan to wish them a happy Independence Day.  The Pentagon said Hagel thanked them for what they do to defend the U.S. people and their "tireless" efforts to support Afghan citizens during the current transition period.

    Most NATO-led forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Darryl Stock from: London
    July 05, 2014 3:33 PM
    I bet you miss us! Darryl in the UK (agent to King George)

    by: Rumsay Veila
    July 05, 2014 1:47 PM

    Sincere congratulations to free and independent nation

    by: Tamba Ngombu from: Liberia
    July 05, 2014 2:56 AM
    I love the GREAT United State Happy lndpendent celebration

    by: flexdoc from: NY
    July 04, 2014 7:58 PM
    Independence is just a tag line. We havent been Independent since we allowed the big oil companies to continue our reliance on foreign oil and we have sold our real estate and businesses to China. Stop fooling yourselves.

    by: Mrs.Lydia Mouthburp from: FSA
    July 04, 2014 7:45 PM
    I am still amazed that we have come to this point of rapidly declining feelings of freedom and widespread dissociation with our political system. It is not the failure of our constitutional system and only partially the failure of our leaders. It is largely a failure in ourselves that we have become such grumbling drones — powerless, passive, and frankly a bit pathetic. Our government is openly trying to strip away core privacy protections and increase police powers at every level. Yet, we have fallen victim to the “blue state” and “red state” mentality — allowing politicians to constantly deflect criticism by referring to the other side as the greater evil. The result is predictable and … incredibly depressing.

    by: srw from: sd
    July 04, 2014 4:16 PM
    Good job President Obama!!! Happy 4th and don't listen to the nay sayers, it doesn't matter what the opposers say, keep your eyes on God and be encouraged that you have done and are still doing an excellent job It does not matter if the polls show a decline in followers, we knew that, ha Just know that you are always in our prayers and good thoughts!!!

    by: Mark Adams from: USA
    July 04, 2014 1:57 PM
    "the Declaration of Independence was drafted by a slave owner" But many who signed were NOT slave owners. John Adams NEVER owned a slave. Samuel Adams was given a slave in return of a debt. He immediately set her free and proceeded to author the abolishment of slavery in the Massachusetts Constitution. This piece has no credibility because it immediately points to slavery, and not the meaning of the document.

    by: zamu65 from: Texas
    July 04, 2014 1:27 PM
    The United States is celebrating its independence, not "America."

    by: mohammad qasim from: peshawar-pakistan
    July 04, 2014 11:42 AM
    i congratulate all the americans independence from slavery but in peshawar today my 8 years old daughter sexually abused by a peon in her mother office. We love Usa

    by: Richard Cox from: Weirton, WV, USA
    July 04, 2014 9:48 AM
    Politics and Solving the Nation's Problems - You are right, it IS all about money. The wider scope solution is to Support the Domestic Employment Recovery Act (DERA). The export of jobs overseas is at the root of most of our issues and here is the solution.

    My related article is at:
    http://rncox.newsvine.com/_news/2014/07/01/24572537-politics-and-solving-the-nations-problems-you-are-right-it-is-all-about-money-the-wider-scope-solution-is-to-support-the-domestic-employment-recovery-act-dera-exporting-jobs-overseas-is-at-the-root-of-most-of-our-issues-and-here-is-the-solution)

    That's why I created a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama urging the support of DERA - the Domestic Employment Relief Act.

    Will you sign this petition? Click here:
    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/support-dera-the-domestic?source=c.em.cp&r_by=5254576

    Feel free to share and network this around.

    Thanks!

    Richard Cox
    Independent member, WV Senator Manchin's Project Weirton task group (http://www.wtov9.com/news/5484507/detail.html )
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora