Spectacular fireworks displays dazzle across the country as Americans celebrate Independence Day 2013
Americans around the country flocked to local parks and riverbanks to celebrated July Fourth with spectacular fireworks displays after a day of patriotic parades and other Independence Day activities.
Glittering explosions erupted over iconic skylines of New York, Washington D.C. and Boston this evening after President Obama urged citizens in his July 4th speech to live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence.
In New York, the Statue of Liberty reopened for the first time since Superstorm Sandy shuttered the national symbol of freedom eight months ago.
Hundreds lined up Thursday to be among the first to board boats destined for Lady Liberty.
Nationwide, Boston prepared to host its first large gathering since the marathon bombing that killed three and injured hundreds, and Philadelphia, Washington and New Orleans geared up for large holiday concerts.
A Civil War reenactment commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg drew as many as 40,000 people to Pennsylvania. In Arizona, sober tributes were planned for 19 firefighters who died this week battling a blaze near Yarnell.
In his weekly radio address from Washington, Obama urged Americans to work to secure liberty and opportunity for their own children and future generations. The first family was to host U.S. servicemen and women at the White House for a cookout.
Atlanta and Alaska planned holiday runs – thousands were racing up a 3,022-foot peak in Seward. In New Orleans, the Essence Festival celebrating black culture and music kicked off along the riverfront.
The celebratory mood turned somber in Oklahoma and Maine with fatal accidents during parades. In Edmond, Okla., a boy died after being run over by a float near the end of the town’s LibertyFest parade. In Bangor, Maine, the driver of a tractor in the parade was killed after the vehicle was struck by an old fire truck.
In Boston, attendance for the city’s celebration appeared down, with crowds on the Charles River Esplanade seeming smaller than in recent years while a robust law enforcement presence greeted revelers gathering for a performance by the Boston Pops and a fireworks display.
Fireworks light up the statue of Simon Bolivar during Independence Day celebrations on July 4, 2013
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