Crowds at Boston's Old State House erupted in applause and cannons shot out tri-color confetti after the annual July Fourth reading of the Declaration of Independence.Later, thousands flocked to the Charles River Esplanade for the annual Boston Pops concert and fireworks. Krystle O'Brien, 27, wore an American flag cowboy hat and passed out glowsticks.
"It's a good day for Boston," she said. "There's so much history here, we can celebrate this freedom."In Maplewood, New Jersey, Meskie Hyman, 11, exuded patriot pride in a star-spangled shirt and a hairband with two American flags that fluttered under cloudy skies.
The National Mall, an open area west of the Capitol and site of a fireworks display expected to draw hundreds of thousands, was soggy from steady rain that had stopped by the time the parade started.
Kearston Andrews, 26, traveled with her family from near Gainesville, Florida, unworried about security.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an alert this week asking local authorities and the public to remain vigilant for possible threats following recent calls for violence by leaders of radical Islamist group Islamic State.In New York City, the nation's biggest police force assigned about 7,000 officers and nearly all its counterterrorism personnel to handle security around Independence Day events.
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