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July 5, 2009
Independence Day Fireworks
NEW YORK (AP) -- Fireworks lit the night sky above New York with a kaleidoscope of colors shooting 1,000 feet into the air on an Independence Day that began with the Statue of Liberty's crown opening to the public for the first time since Sept. 11, 2001. It was the nation's biggest fireworks display, with more than 22 tons of pyrotechnics exploding Saturday over a mile-and-a-half of the Hudson River, a new vantage point for New York's festivities. Millions of spectators watched from both sides of the river. While the recession forced many communities to scale down, or even cancel, their fireworks, "we're a country of survivors and fighters, and we try to make things work," said Gary Souza, whose family-owned, California-based company is staging the New York display as well as hundreds of others across the country -- including the nation's capital. In Washington, the daylong celebrations started with a parade along Constitution Avenue and ended with fireworks over the Washington Monument as a band played a medley of patriotic music.(19 images)

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People standing on 42nd Street watch fireworks explode over the Hudson River during Macy's annual 4th of July fireworks show on July 4, in New York. AP / Peter Morgan


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Fireworks explode in the air as the Ferris Wheel turns at the Alameda County Fair on Friday, July 3, in Pleasanton, Calif. AP / Jose Carlos Fajardo



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Fireworks burst high in the skies over the battleship U.S.S. Alabama as Mobile, Ala., celebrates the Fourth of July Saturday, July 4. AP / G.M. Andrews



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The New York City skyline as seen in the distance as fireworks explode over the Hudson River during the Macy's fireworks display on July 4, in West New York, New Jersey. It was the first time since 2000 that the Macy's display took place over the Hudson River and not the East River. Getty Images / Michael Loccisano



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The New York City skyline as seen in the distance as fireworks explode over the Hudson River during the Macy's fireworks display on July 4, in West New York, New Jersey. It was the first time since 2000 that the Macy's display took place over the Hudson River and not the East River. Getty Images / Michael Loccisano



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People take photos of the fireworks during the Macy's fireworks display July 4, in Weehawken, New Jersey. It was the first time since 2000 that the Macy's display took place over the Hudson River and not the East River. Getty Images / Yana Paskova



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The New York City skyline is seen in the distance as fireworks explode over the Hudson River during the Macy's fireworks display July 4, in Weehawken, New Jersey. It was the first time since 2000 that the Macy's display took place over the Hudson River and not the East River. Getty Images / Yana Paskova



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The New York City skyline is seen in the distance as fireworks explode over the Hudson River during the Macy's fireworks display July 4, in Weehawken, New Jersey. It was the first time since 2000 that the Macy's display took place over the Hudson River and not the East River. Getty Images / Yana Paskova



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The Empire State Building, seen from across the East River in the Queens borough of New York, is backlit by shells exploding over the Hudson River during the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show Saturday, July 4, in New York. AP / Jason DeCrow



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Framed by the Intrepid Sea Air and Space museum Michael Hernandez holds his daughter on his shoulders as they watch the fireworks explode over the Hudson river during Macy's annual 4th of July fireworks display, Saturday, July 4, in New York. AP / Mary Altaffer



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A crowd of people watch the Fourth of July fireworks display from the rooftop of the Associated Press Headquarters on Saturday, July 4,, in New York. AP / Mike Adamucci



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The Empire State Building, seen from across the East River in the Queens borough of New York, is backlit by shells exploding over the Hudson River during the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show Saturday, July 4, in New York. AP / Jason DeCrow



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Fireworks explode over Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, Texas, in celebration of Independence Day on Saturday, July 4. AP / Jay Janner



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Fireworks explode above Lake Union in Seattle as seen from Gasworks Park during the Chase Family 4th celebration on Saturday July 4. SeattlePI.com / Joshua Trujillo



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Fireworks light up the night sky near the Anadarko building July, 4, in The Woodlands, Texas. AP / Eric S. Swist



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Fireworks illuminate the sky above the National Mall in Washington, DC, on July 4, as part of the Fourth July celebrations. AFP / Getty Images / Jewel Samad



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Fireworks explode near the White House in Washington Saturday, July 4. AP / Alex Brandon



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Fireworks light up the night over the Philadelphia Museum of Art during the Fourth of July celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Saturday, July 4. Philadelphia Inquirer / Laurence Kesterson



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A group of spectators watch the fireworks Saturday, July 4, from the roof of a garage near Castle Rock Park in Billings, Mont. Billings Gazette / Paul Ruhter



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