WASHINGTON: Americans celebrated 236 years of independence with fireworks and US President Barack Obama marked the Fourth of July by thanking service members and their families.
Albeit many celebrations were either scaled-down or cancelled due to weather-related power outages and concerns of spreading wildfires, yet a number of celebrations were witnessed across the United States.
In the nation's capital, thousands of visitors from across the country took part in Independence Day celebrations despite high temperatures and the threat of thunderstorms.
In the meantime, Obama said service members "represent what is best in America”.
The President, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, hosted a barbecue and concert on Wednesday for the families on the White House South Lawn.
Obama saluted "this generation of heroes" for their service and sacrifice to defend American freedoms, specifically thanking them for bringing Osama bin Laden to justice and working to get out of Afghanistan.
He said the nation "will always be there for you, just as you've been there for us”. He said it was his promise, and America's promise.
Afterward, the Obamas shook hands and posed for pictures with eager visitors. The US Marine Band and country singer Brad Paisley performed.