Washington, Jul 5 (UNI) Americans celebrated Independence Day, the 232nd anniversary of the declaration of independence from Britain.
The Day, a national holiday yesterday, was marked by ceremonial parades, picnics, and fireworks, the finest of which was held in the national Mall in Washington DC amid the monuments of national heroes - Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
It drew thousands of people from across the country.
The day was also marked by granting citizenship to some 72 new American citizens in a ceremony at Monticello, the Virginia home of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence.
US President George Bush, who presided over the function, welcomed the new citizens saying, ''Those of you taking the oath of citizenship at this ceremony hail from 30 different nations.'' ''You represent many different ethnicities and races and religions, but you all have one thing in common, and that is a shared love of freedom. This love of liberty is what binds our nation together, and this is the love that makes us all Americans,'' he added.
On his final Fourth of July as President, Bush paid tribute to the beliefs Thomas Jefferson set out in the Declaration of Independence.
''The principles that Thomas Jefferson enshrined in the Declaration became the guiding principles of the new nation. And in every generation, Americans have rededicated themselves to the belief that all men are created equal, with a God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,'' he said.
John Adams, who signed the Declaration and later preceded Jefferson as President, said the Fourth of July would be ''the most memorable in the history of America...solemnised with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations.'' So it has been each year and this year too, Americans as usual thronged from coast to coast to celebrate the holiday just as Adams had intended, with picnics, festivals, concerts, fireworks displays and parades.
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