Every year on the Fourth of July, Americans get together with loved ones to commemorate the anniversary of our nation’s freedom, a day filled with celebration, gratitude—and most years, parades, flyovers, and fireworks. With the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Fourth of July looked a little different, with an estimated 80% of Fourth of July fireworks shows cancelled across the country. While this year’s challenges gave us added reason to cherish our freedoms and our family a little more than usual, our city refused to let challenges stand in the way of providing our community a safe—and spectacular—Fourth of July.
In recent years, our city’s annual “Fort Worth’s Fourth” celebration would draw crowds as large as 80,000 people to the banks of the Trinity River for concerts, free kids’ activities, tubing, and our city’s famous Fourth of July fireworks show—the largest fireworks show in all of North Texas. With the festivities canceled this year due to social distancing guidelines, the Tarrant Regional Water District was determined to organize the largest fireworks show ever over Fort Worth. In Texas 12 and beyond, North Texans were treated to a dazzling display of red, white, and blue fireworks celebrating our great nation’s birthday and thanking not only our service members at home and abroad, but also those frontline healthcare workers helping our community emerge stronger from the coronavirus. Most years the fireworks show is catered towards those watching in-person on the levee, but with people watching this year from their homes, this year’s fireworks were shot much higher into the sky, with their colorful sparks visible all across the city.
Our community’s local media stations also stepped in, with KDFW Fox 4 streaming the fireworks show live on television and on their social media platforms, while 95.9 The Ranch FM Radio played the music that was choreographed to the fireworks show, providing easy ways for people enjoy the show from home or afar. I thank our local partners for their collaboration in making this year’s fireworks show the best ever, as well as the Tarrant Regional Water District and Lockheed Martin for their generous contributions to this historic show. It would not have been possible without their support.
I am equally proud of how our special community answered the call by watching the fireworks safely, staying in small groups with their families at home or watching from a distance while observing social distancing. Our community truly pulled together in a time of need, providing a sense of normalcy for a night and something for our children to look forward to, as we all celebrated our country’s birthday and the ideals that make America the greatest country on earth.
When we remember this successful celebration of our Independence Day during these unprecedented times, we should take heart that this year’s Fourth of July reminds us that despite the shared challenges we still face, our support of each other unites and strengthens us, and makes both our community and our country resilient and unstoppable.
Member of Congress