US Celebrates Independence Day Holiday

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. He said the military also has brought freedom to millions of people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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 set to return to the White House later to enjoy traditional celebrations in the nation's capital.

On July 4, 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 and honored during ceremonies today. Festivities in Washington will wind up with a large fireworks display.

Communities across the country are sponsoring parades and patriotic ceremonies, along with picnics and other recreational activities.

Some information for this report was provided by AP