Originally published Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at 11:55a.m.

Thursday we will celebrate America's birthday. It has been 243 years since the founding fathers declared the United States an independent nation, free from the reign of Britain.

We celebrate this milestone each year with shows of patriotism. We are a proud nation and the fireworks, family reunions, concerts, barbecues, picnics and parades are our way of celebrating the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

We as a people are blessed to call this great nation home. As we move forward into the holiday and the weekend remember to wear your red, white and blue with a smile and fly our nation’s flag with pride. Because we are Americans, we belong to one of the greatest nations on earth. Let's never take our independence for granted. Instead, take a moment to pray for those fighting for our nation's independence not just on Thursday, but every day.

In observance of Independence Day, the News office will be closed Thursday.

We welcome any reader submitted photos of Fourth of July festivities. If you see something interesting happening, chances are others will find it interesting, too. Send your pictures to editorial@williamsnews.com for consideration.

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