5 Most American Things to Do on July 4th

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Fireworks explode over the White House January 19, 2004 as part of the 55th presidential inaugural 'Celebration of Freedom' event Washington, DC. Bush will be sworn into serve his second term as President of the United States January 20. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Fireworks explode over the White House January 19, 2004 as part of the 55th presidential inaugural ‘Celebration of Freedom’ event Washington, DC. Bush will be sworn into serve his second term as President of the United States January 20. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – On this day in July 4, 1776, the dream of our American forefathers was realized, declaring independence from the reign of British tyranny with the formation of the United States of America.

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation,” the Declaration of Independence read.

Each year, we celebrate the freedoms that independence affords us all — the freedom to form and act upon decisions with free will, based on our own intuition — without the guiding hand of a ruler overseeing and dictating our actions from a faraway land.

There are many ways to celebrate such freedoms, all of which are inherently American.

These are the 5 Most American Things to Do on July 4th:

5. Watch Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

While the inaugural year of this annual tradition has been disputed, it’s clear that every year on July 4 since at least 1972, Americans fix their gaze on their television sets to see the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, held in its original location, Coney Island, New York, as the gluttonous contestants compete to shovel as many hot dogs down their throats as possible in a ten minute span.

The jury watches the competitors during Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York on July 4, 2010. The contest was won for the fourth time by Joey Chestnut. He ate 54 hot dogs in ten minutes. AFP PHOTO/Theo Zierock (Photo credit should read THEO ZIEROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

The jury watches the competitors during Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York on July 4, 2010. The contest was won for the fourth time by Joey Chestnut. He ate 54 hot dogs in ten minutes. AFP PHOTO/Theo Zierock (Photo credit should read THEO ZIEROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

4. Attend a baseball game

Baseball has long been held as ‘America’s pastime.’ No truer understanding why can be realized than heading downtown to the ballpark, with friends or family, sitting under the warm summer sun, reaching for a cool beverage (maybe a pint), and sipping in 9 innings of America’s most storied professional sport.

A general view of the stadium during the National Anthem before a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs on July 4, 2014 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

A general view of the stadium during the National Anthem before a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs on July 4, 2014 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

3. Grill out

You want a tradition as ‘American as apple pie?’ How ’bout you grab a slice of apple pie as dad fires up the ole’ grill and cooks a heaping pile of hot dogs, hamburgers and corn to go along with that fresh glob of potato salad you just smeared on your paper plate. The grill marks. Always go for the dog with the grill marks.

One of the team from Coulter Farms of Honey Grove, Pennsylvania, grills certified organic hamburgers and sausages, even the cheese is organic, for sale at an outdoor Farmer's Market August 15, 2013, in Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

One of the team from Coulter Farms of Honey Grove, Pennsylvania, grills certified organic hamburgers and sausages, even the cheese is organic, for sale at an outdoor Farmer’s Market August 15, 2013, in Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

2. Watch the fireworks

Although at the time our nation’s independence was declared, Washington, D.C., was not our capital (the city was under construction, with D.C. later being named the capital in 1791), every year, thousands upon thousands gather in the city and at high points around it to take in the fireworks display.

Fireworks explode over the White House January 19, 2004 as part of the 55th presidential inaugural 'Celebration of Freedom' event Washington, DC. Bush will be sworn into serve his second term as President of the United States January 20. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Fireworks explode over the White House January 19, 2004 as part of the 55th presidential inaugural ‘Celebration of Freedom’ event Washington, DC. Bush will be sworn into serve his second term as President of the United States January 20. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

1. Pay respects to the fallen

With wars being waged and American boots on the ground far and wide every single day, through the constant stream of the 24-hour news cycle, it’s easy to forget as proceed through the steps of our daily lives, the efforts, past and ever-present, put forth and the sacrifices made to ensure our everyday freedoms aren’t jeopardized. As we sit, taking in a baseball game, or watching the hot dog eating contest from the comfort of our homes, and blasting fireworks into the air, the foremost American thing any of us can do, is to take a second and pay respects to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and those who have or are currently protecting our right to do these things we so often take for granted. Better yet, don’t just say ‘Thank you’ and move on with your day. Donate.

A U.S. Army soldier salutes the flag during the national anthem at a welcome home ceremony for troops returning from Iraq on November 10, 2011 in Fort Carson, Colorado. More than 100 soldiers from the 549th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade returned after a seven-month deployment. They played a key role in removing excess equipment from Iraq as other troops withdrew from the region. (Photo by John Moore/Getty

A U.S. Army soldier salutes the flag during the national anthem at a welcome home ceremony for troops returning from Iraq on November 10, 2011 in Fort Carson, Colorado. More than 100 soldiers from the 549th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade returned after a seven-month deployment. They played a key role in removing excess equipment from Iraq as other troops withdrew from the region. (Photo by John Moore/Getty

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