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Happy birthday, America

Independence Day is the national holiday of the United States of America commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pa.

At the time of the signing, the U.S. consisted of 13 colonies under the rule of England's King George III. There was growing unrest in the colonies concerning the taxes that had to be paid to England. In 1774, the 13 colonies sent delegates to Philadelphia to form the First Continental Congress. The delegates were unhappy with England; they did not want war but were steadfast in their quest for independence.

Although signing of the Declaration was not completed until August 1776, the Fourth of July has been accepted as the official anniversary of United States independence. The first Independence Day celebration took place the following year: July 4, 1777. By the early 1800s, the traditions of parades, picnics and fireworks were established as the way to celebrate America's birthday. Although fireworks have been banned in most places because of their danger, most towns and cities usually have big firework displays for all to see and enjoy.

Americans will commemorate the 234th anniversary of the approval of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress -- the act that set the 13 American colonies on their road to national sovereignty. On this Fourth of July, America's independence will again be celebrated in grand fashion with parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues. Speaking on behalf of the veterans' of American Legion Post 171, have a fun, safe holiday. This is a time to celebrate with family and friends.

It is also a time to honor the brave men and women responsible for the establishment of those original 13 colonies as well as the freedoms we enjoy today. From that shaky beginning to the great nation we have become our forefathers would be proud. Today the U.S. military as well as law enforcement have an enormous responsibility; to support and defend the Constitution of these United States. Thank you to all who have served or are currently serving as well as your families. We are all part of an elite group of dedicated citizens establishing a nation and then defending it. The challenge for the upcoming service members is to continue to improve our military and law enforcement agencies ensuring justice and freedom for all citizens of this great nation! Are you up to the challenge?