'Proud to be an American': Small town feel for Livermore 4th of July


Livermore's historic downtown had an Americana small-town feel for the July Fourth celebration that drew a big crowd to see the family-friendly fireworks show.


People strolled along the streets wearing stars and stripes or red, white and blue showing their pride and patriotism.


"I like the Fourth of July cause I get to spend it with my family and fireworks. I like fireworks," said Kaitlyn Brongiel, a Livermore student who was there with her parents.


Jack Munoz, 8, of Livermore said he loved Independence Day because of  "the fireworks and stuff and the birthday of America."


The holiday, however, also was a chance to reflect on American values at a time of deep divisions in the United States over issues of immigration, citizenship, what America stands for and what it means to be American.


"I feel like right now is a very sensitive time in America where we're divided and we're becoming more divided," said Aimee Baca of Livermore.


"I'm proud to be an American because America is such a good country. All the people who fought for this country we owe it all to them," said Amaya Baca who was there with her parents and siblings.


"To just celebrate our independence, our American life and just the melting pot right here in the Bay Area all together," said Rachael Snedecor, Executive Director, Livermore Downtown, INC, who helped organize the event.


Andrew Ho and his wife from Pleasanton reflected on what Independence Day and America mean for their two-year-old daughter.


"She's a first-generation American. We both came from other countries, so I hope that in the future she can have the same opportunities that was given to me," said Ho.


Rajiv Rattu of Fremont said despite America's divisions, he and his family are grateful for this country's freedoms.


"No country is perfect, problems are everywhere, but still I mean compared to other countries in the world, it's quite good," said Rattu.


Some people said they hope Americans will find more ways of finding common ground and showing compassion and civility toward one another.


"Really that's all it is kindness and compassion and caring toward our fellow Americans," said Laurie Brongiel, a Livermore mom.


"It's just important to remember that we live in America and we live on kindness," said Andrea Ofiana of Livermore, "Just be kind to everybody, kindness and respect everybody's opinions and beliefs."


"What it all means is everyone coming together. We're in this country and we're here to make our lives better and that's what it's all about. My ancestors came here to do," said Wade Kemp, a former Air Force Staff Sergeant.


"When you bleed, everybody bleeds red," said said Edward James Jackson, Junior, a Livermore dad, "There's no color, there's no division when you bleed."

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