Americans have celebrated their nation's 234th Independence Day. The annual holiday, which marks the adoption of the declaration of independence, was lit up by parades and firework displays all across the country.
In Washington, crowds gathered at the National Mall. A series of fireworks were launched from behind the Washington Monument.
U.S. President Barack Obama celebrated the holiday by hosting a barbecue for members of the military and their families. It was followed by a concert, and a view of the fireworks from the South Lawn of the White House.
Barack Obama said, "On this day that is uniquely American, we are reminded that our declaration, our example, made us a beacon to the world."
Over in Florida's Pensacola Beach, the stars and stripes were also flying. But spirits have been somewhat dampened by the impact of the Gulf oil spill.
The disaster has had a significant effect on local tourism.
Jeff Reiner, Pensacola Resident, said, "Dead. It's pretty dead. It's usually pretty crowded by now, wall to wall people by three o'clock but it doesn't look like they are going to show up."
Traditional holiday activities, like fishing, have also been curtailed by concerns over the spill. One-third of all federal waters in the Gulf are closed, including many areas where the oil has yet to reach.
- US celebrates 234th Independence Day 2010-07-05