Fourth of July celebrated with renewed vigor

Fireworks boom over Mills Park Thursday evening..

Fireworks boom over Mills Park Thursday evening..

Peggy Pruitt of Carson City usually stays home for the Fourth of July but decided this year to attend the annual Pops in the Park celebration at Genoa's Mormon Station.

"It has a much more special meaning this year," she said. "With everything going on, it is just important to be a part of the community."

It was a sentiment echoed by the nation's leaders after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and with vague threats of a possible repeat on the first Independence Day since.

"We're Americans," Secretary of State Colin Powell told CNN. "We don't walk around, afraid of our shadows."

Pruitt joined Don and Barbara Waite of Steamboat who have attended the music celebration, Pops in the Park, for eight years.

"We like the atmosphere, the friends and the music," Don Waite said. "We also want to celebrate the birthday of our country and our liberty."

Glenn Hansen of Washoe Valley said he noticed more of a sense of patriotism than in years past.

"It's different this year," he said. "You see a lot more flags and more patriotic clothes."

But Laura Rodgers of Reno has worn the same shirt for four years on the Fourth of July. The dark blue T-shirt is adorned with red-white-and-blue stars and glittery gold firework explosions.

"I've actually bought more patriotic shirts this year after Sept. 11," she said. "But this one is the best one so I wore it again. I always get a lot of comments on it."

The Associated Press reported that the nation was on "yellow" alert status, the middle of five levels for Independence Day.

However, the day passed with no reported terror attacks.

But Christina Nelson of Gardnerville, who recently graduated from New York University and watched the World Trade Center collapse, said celebrating Independence Day has not erased her memory of the attacks.

"I still think about it every day," she said. "Every time I open a newspaper or watch the news there's something that reminds me of it."

President Bush ignored terrorism fears and celebrated America's birthday.

"We love our country only more when she's threatened," he said in a speech given Thursday in Ripley, W. Va.

Carson City residents also put fear aside, watching the fireworks from Mills Park and various other locations around the city.

The fireworks lasted xxx minutes and could be seen from all over Carson City.

They were part of the 10th annual RSVP Fourth of July Celebration at Mills Park. The carnival continues through Sunday.


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