While fireworks are generally a part of July 4 celebrations across America, New Orleans seems a uniquely-appropriate place to celebrate our great country. It is a city, founded by French explorers near a Native American village, later run by the Spanish and then the Americans, to which came Africans, Jews, the Irish, Italians, Haitians, Mexicans and Vietnamese. All of these diverse cultures have left their mark on New Orleans, making it paradoxically America’s most exotic city and at the same time the most American city of all. In New Orleans this year, the fireworks were preceded by a Navy band concert, and followed by the same All-Star Brass Band that had been playing on Bourbon Street earlier in the evening. 

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