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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs