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Exploring the Traditions of Independence Day

Indepenence Day is a federal holiday that’s designed to commemorate and recognize the Declaration of Independence. Held annually on July 4, it marks our country’s independence. Whether you live on the East Coast or West Coast — or a middle state — you should consider celebrating Independence Day. There several common traditions that are synonymous with Independence Day, some of which include the following.

Fireworks

You can expect to see and hear plenty of fireworks on Independence Day. Many cities host fireworks shows where citizens can gather to watch the dazzling array of colors light up the night sky. Detroit, for instance, hosts one of the largest fireworks shows in North America on Independence Day. Known as the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival, it attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Why are fireworks used on Independence Day exactly? This tradition has origins dating back to the very first Independence Day. On July 4, 1777, Americans blasted a cannon 13 times to symbolize the original 13 colonies. Since then, fireworks have been used instead of cannons.

Salute to the Union

The Salute to the Union is a common Independence Day tradition. Unlike fireworks, though, it’s a tradition that most citizens are unaware of. Unless you’ve served in the U.S. military — or if you live near a U.S. military base — you may not be familiar with it. What is the Salute to the Union exactly?

The Salute to the Union is a gun salute that’s performed on Independence Day. When the clock strikes 12:00 p.m., military bases throughout the United States and abroad will perform a gun salute. Known as the Salute to the Union, it consists of 50 shots. Each shot symbolizes a state.

Displaying the American Flag

We can’t talk about Independence Day traditions without mentioning the American flag. The American flag is commonly displayed on Independence Day. You’ll find it displayed in front of businesses, homes, in city streets and elsewhere.

If you own an American flag, you should consider displaying it on Independence Day. The American flag, of course, can be displayed on all 365 days of the year. With that said, there are certain days on which it’s “particularly fitting” to display the American flag. These days typically consist of national holidays, the birthdays of states and other important days of the year. Independence Day falls under this category. You can display the American flag on other days of the year, but Independence Day is particularly important because it commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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