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With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus are reminding communities to celebrate safely and to reflect on the meaning of the day.

“As a veteran, I encourage people to remember why we celebrate the Fourth of July,” said Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago). “We commemorate those individuals who fought for our independence and the troops who continue to make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”

Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared that the thirteen American colonies would no longer be under the rule of Britain’s King George III and united the colonies as free and independent states.

From family picnics to big firework shows, people across Illinois will celebrate the freedom granted to this great nation years ago.

“The Fourth of July commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made for our freedom,” State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) said. “As we celebrate our country’s freedom, it’s important to remember those who fought for our independence then and those who serve our country today.”

“Commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Fourth of July celebrates our nation’s birth,” State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) said. “It also serves as a reminder to show appreciation for our service men and women for the opportunity to enjoy a safe holiday with our loved ones.”

Senators also want to remind communities who plan to sponsor fireworks shows to make sure vendors have the proper certifications and licenses from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the State Fire Marshal. Ensuring proper handling of fireworks is essential for keeping residents safe.

“As we celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend, please take a few moments to remember all those who came before us to fight for our nation’s freedom,” said State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), who is a veteran. “Whether you plan to celebrate by hanging out at home or going out to see fireworks, be sure to celebrate safely.”

To learn more about the firework safety, visit here.