Maili Maldonado, Staff Writer

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The Fourth of July is an American holiday celebrating the independence that America won on July 4, 1776. Americans such as Jan Nash’arrigo believe that this holiday is meant to symbolize “gatherings with family and memories of when the whole extended family would come together.” Nash’arrigo says that this holiday should not be forced upon anyone to celebrate, she considers it be one’s own choice.

What does the Fourth of July mean to Americans?

For many, the Fourth of July is a day of celebration. Yet, in such a diverse country, it might have multiple meanings for different people.

For Americans of all ages, this can be a day to showcase their patriotism and spend time with family and friends. While Kent Moldovan, 48, says “America symbolizes independence,” student Prystyn Covington, 17, expresses how grateful she is “to be living in such a great country.” She says that not only she has so much freedom, but she is also surrounded by a diverse community, describing America as a “melting pot of different cultures.” She elaborates that as an American, she has the ability and resources to learn and become more informed about different cultures, races and ethnicities.

Yet, the U.S. has seen a decrease in the number of Americans phased by the national holiday. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, at least 47% of Americans are honored to be citizens of this country, in comparison to nearly 70% in 2003.

“I just kinda grew up learning that the Fourth of July is an important holiday, I don’t know I think it’s just a time for me to come together with my friends and family, so I don’t really think much of it since we hang around and don’t really celebrate the United States,” says Covington.

Some Americans believe people should not have to do anything they are not comfortable with. For Moldovan, people who don’t celebrate the Fourth of July “probably don’t have a reason” to do so. Jan Nash’arrigo says that many people may not want to celebrate it because of “the leader of our country inciting negative politics.” Moldovan adds that some may not like the U.S. because it can be “selfish” and “materialistic.”

People who celebrate the Fourth of July choose to do so for different reasons. Does that mean everyone living in the U.S. should celebrate this national holiday?

Covington says that it’s “more of your personal preference.

“I feel like it should be your choice, what you’re comfortable with, because some people don’t come to the United States by choice and it’s more like they’re are forced to, and they may not like it more than the country they came from, I think it’s just a preference thing, I don’t really think anybody should be forced to celebrate a holiday, they don’t want to.”

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