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Celebrate Independence Day with More Meaning and Less Stress

While the 4th of July is typically a time for picnics and family barbecues, for veterans it often has different meaning.

“The holiday is the day our country came to be, and to a veteran, the 4th of July is up there with Veterans Day and Memorial Day,” veteran Dan Miller said. Dan served 30 years in the Marines and was deployed three times to Iraq. “Amid the celebration, I think about the fact that the struggle for independence meant there was an armed conflict where men and women died so that we could be independent. More than 200 years and many conflicts later, 16 of my fellow marines were lost in combat.”  

For Dan, July 4 means much more than fireworks and family gatherings. It’s about “remembering and thanking those who stepped forward to ensure that we have the rights we enjoy today.”

Whether you have the chance to observe the holiday with veterans and their families, or you choose to celebrate more quietly at home, here are ways you can participate from sea to shining sea.

Virtual experiences:

  • Tune in to A Capitol Fourth. PBS’ 41st show from Washington DC, with live fireworks, military bands, special guests. Check local PBS stations. It starts at 8 pm ET.
  • Check out the livestream from National Harbor, Maryland, A Tribute to the American Spirit. The livestream starts at 4 pm ET, with the U.S. Air Force Band headlining.
  • Celebrate July 4 with the National Archives, where the original Declaration of Independence is stored. Watch an educational livestream including in-character historical presentations starting at 11 am ET (Thomas Jefferson and other figures are scheduled to re-enact.) Catch the reading of the Declaration of Independence at 4 pm ET.
  • Take a virtual tour of the Grand Canyon with the National Park Service (NPS). You can virtually experience the Grand Canyon any time, but let Independence Day be a good excuse to pull friends and family together to experience it with you. You can also download the NPS app to plan an in-person adventure.   
  • Join a virtual fitness event. WWP’s Carry Forward® 5K, presented by USAA®, gives you the flexibility to walk or run solo or with friends, and the Carry Forward 5K app helps you get a team together across the distance.

All the money raised from Carry Forward supports injured veterans and their families, who never pay a penny for any Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) program or service. Check out the WWP Carry Forward social media pages on Facebook and Instagram and engage with fellow supporters from across the world!

In person celebrations:

  • Fireworks at San Diego Big Bay Boom can be enjoyed at 9 pm PT from multiple locations around the bay. Portions are also broadcast in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, California.
  • Near New York? Take yourself out to the ball game when the Yankees host the Mets on July 4 at Yankee Stadium, at reduced capacity for social distancing.
  • Philadelphia celebrations began on Juneteenth (June 19) and run the gamut from free concerts to museum presentations to soccer and several Independence Day shows. You can watch the fireworks on NBC 10.
  • Fayetteville, North Carolina’s July 4 Celebration at Ft. Bragg Parade Field starts at 3 pm ET, with 82nd All-American Rock Band and The Fifth opening for Foreigner, and fireworks at 9:45 pm.
  • Need a country music fix? Head to Nashville, Tennessee’s Let Freedom Sing. Music City is putting together a star-studded show with headliner Brad Paisley. You must be in person for the live music, but you can watch the fireworks on News Channel 5. Other celebrations include a ticketed event at Adventure Science Center.
  • San Antonio has Independence Day at The Alamo with activities throughout the weekend. You can even sign a giant copy of the Declaration of Independence.
  • St. Augustine, Florida will feature fireworks at Castillo de San Marcos. The nation’s oldest city puts on a modern lightshow at the bayfront. Live big band music starts at 6 pm ET in the plaza; fireworks at 9:30 pm ET.

Contact: Raquel Rivas – Public Relations,, 904.426.9783

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Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition.

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