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US Celebrates Independence Day Holiday


Today, Tuesday is Independence Day in the United States, celebrating the country's birth as an independent nation 230 years ago.

Speaking at a holiday ceremony at a military base, Fort Bragg in the southeastern state of North Carolina, President Bush told service members their courage makes every day independence day in America.

The president paid tribute to the more than 25-hundred U.S. troops who have died during the war in Iraq, and he said troops have brought freedom to millions of Iraqis and Afghans.

Mr. Bush said that since the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed last month, troops have captured more than 700 enemy operatives and killed 60 more.

The president is returning to the White House to enjoy traditional celebrations in the nation's capital.

On July fourth, 1776, a colonial legislature in what is now the United States declared independence from Britain.

The historic document signed on that day will be read aloud during ceremonies today.

Festivities in Washington will end with a large fireworks display. Communities across the country are sponsoring parades and patriotic ceremonies, along with picnics and other recreational activities.
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