December 4, 2023

A various and colourful crowd celebrated the Independence Day of the US on Tuesday within the streets of Washington, one of the crucial essential celebrations within the nation, now not restricted by COVID-19, though overshadowed by latest information of mass shootings.

Regardless of the warmth wave and humidity, the US capital celebrated the customary procession of army bands, caravans and large balloons and welcomed 1000’s of individuals dressed within the conventional colours of pink, white and blue, who stuffed monuments and parks for hours. within the morning.

Essentially the most enthusiastic got here at midday to order seats to have a greater view of the fireworks reveals that normally mark a day during which colleges, companies and non-essential companies shut all through the nation.

A multicultural occasion

The parade of bands and organizations started from the Nationwide Archives, the place the unique doc of the Declaration of Independence, which was formally adopted on July 4, 1776, and sealed the separation of the previous 13 Colonies from the British Empire, is on everlasting show.

The procession, which lasted greater than two hours and stretched for nearly three kilometers, included floats and demonstrations by colleges, teams and communities of various nationalities, as an indication of the nation’s multicultural origin.

One of the vital hanging floats was the allegory to Ukraine, with the blue and yellow colours of that nation’s flag and a banner that learn in English: “Thanks USA for supporting Ukraine”, in reference to US help within the conflict in opposition to Russia.

“I’ve all the time come,” he stated to the voice of america Guatemalan Robinson Enrique Perez, who assures that since he arrived within the US he has not missed the multicolored occasion, during which flags of various international locations could possibly be seen, together with a number of Latin American nations. “In the present day 3 years in the past.”

The 4th of July occasion, he explains, helps him “to get out of the routine” of the day. “I like to come back to see; we’re Latinos, we prefer to occasion, the occasion attracts our consideration. Our complete life is routine right here, so someday, annually, nicely, we have now to get out of it,” he stated with a smile. .

A whole lot of vacationers additionally arrived within the US capital to expertise the occasion, which this 12 months was held once more with pre-pandemic ranges of attendance.

Juliana Andrea Ramos, a Colombian from Bogota, instructed the VOA who wished to go to Washington expressly to expertise the 4th of July within the metropolis.

“The atmosphere may be very good,” he stated. “You stroll and you may see the bands practising, plus right now is a really good day (…) I believe we’re going to have a good time.”

The younger lady, who’s touring together with her household, introduced that after the parade they’d stroll to the Lincoln Memorial and tour the remainder of the monuments, a plan shared by 1000’s of individuals on what’s probably one of many busiest days of the 12 months for the capital.

“It’s a nation that has quite a lot of pleasure; that’s, it loves its homeland very a lot, which celebrates it. You don’t see this anyplace, a celebration like that for Independence Day,” he stated.

The excessive temperatures and the inflow of individuals additionally assist retailers and road distributors who proceed to supply companies in the course of the vacation, such because the Mexican Jose Armando Hernandez.

Hernandez, 21, has been promoting ice cream within the US capital for six months. “It’s the primary time I’ve seen one thing like this, it’s superb and the environment may be very good (…) Let’s hope there are good gross sales,” he stated.

sizzling caninesbarbecues and fireworks

The custom of celebrating the 4th of July behind closed doorways is noticed throughout the nation. In all American cities, barbecues had been arrange in gardens, patios and streets, many festooned with the Stars and Stripes flag.

The sizzling canines or sizzling canines, cooked on the grill right now, are probably the most conventional meals of this vacation, a customized that shall be adopted even within the White Home, the place this Tuesday President Joe Biden will honor veterans and kinfolk of fallen army personnel.

The president and the primary woman, Jill Biden, will be part of their friends on the garden of the presidential residence to witness the fireworks show in Washington, one of many largest within the nation.

As standard in US events, every neighborhood contributes parts of its tradition, a founding attribute of a nation like the US, the results of migration.

In Florida, the celebrations transfer from the backyards to the seashores, the place you possibly can style Argentine barbecues, pork with mojo, tacos, pupusas, arepas or paisa bandejas.

“As yearly we’re going to have fun the 4th of July with a dip within the seashore,” he instructed the VOA Enrique Santiago, a Cuban resident within the city of Hollywood, north of Miami.

For Santiago and his household, it’s “one thing very huge” to have the ability to have fun “the traditions of this nice nation that welcomed my household and me.”

The shadow of gun violence

Amid the festive spirit, the rising tide of gun violence has marred this 12 months’s celebrations for a lot of. Information of mass shootings in the course of the holidays has raised issues and questions on whether or not it’s protected to attend giant occasions.

This Monday evening, a gunman carrying a bulletproof vest opened hearth on the streets of Philadelphiakilling 5 individuals and injuring two youngsters, based on police stories.

The taking pictures got here a day after one other incident at a weekend occasion in close by Baltimore that killed two individuals and wounded 28 others.

This July 4, the inhabitants of Highland Park, Illinois, additionally bear in mind the seven victims of the mass taking pictures throughout an Independence Day parade in 2022, which left 26 injured and a neighborhood that has not but recovered.

“In the present day, Jill and I grieve for individuals who have misplaced their lives, and as our nation celebrates Independence Day, we pray for the day our communities are free from gun violence,” President Joe Biden stated Tuesday.

Biden recalled the occasions in Highland Park. “In a number of moments, at the present time of patriotic pleasure turned a scene of ache and tragedy,” the president careworn in an announcement the place he redoubled his name to ban the sale of assault rifles just like the AR-15, probably the most utilized in mass shootings within the nation.

Precaution within the face of doable incidents has led to elevated safety in giant cities, corresponding to Washington and Miami, the place police patrols will be seen alongside seashores and parks.

Though it stays open to the general public all year long, on July 4, a big a part of the Alameda Nacional within the capital has been cordoned off by safety meshes to determine checkpoints for vacationers and locals who need to method monuments such because the Obelisk and the Memorial to Lincoln.

Native officers and authorities examine the belongings that individuals carry with them at every level, prohibiting the entry of weapons of any sort.

It’s on this space the place after 9 pm the long-awaited fireworks present will happen.

“There may be extra safety as a result of it’s the capital, the president is right here, the very best public officers are (…) I really feel very protected,” he confirmed to the VOA Guatemalan Robinson Enrique Perez.