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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs