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.

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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 )

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