DC celebrates Fourth of July with fireworks along National Mall

Thousands flocked to the nation's capital Wednesday to watch the Fourth of July fireworks above the National Mall.

Tourists and locals alike watched the night sky light up with red, white, and blue patriotic colors.

President Joe Biden hosted a barbecue for military families at the White House, which was decked out with red, white and blue bunting and big U.S. flags draped over the columns facing the South Lawn.

Biden told the crowd gathered how grateful he was for their service. And he talked about how important it was to work to unify the nation.

Fireworks go off above the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the US Capitol during an Independence Day fireworks display in Washington D.C., United States on July 4, 2023. (Photo by Mehmet Eser/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

"Democracy is never guaranteed," Biden said. "Every generation must fight to maintain it."

Later, the Bidens watched fireworks from the White House balcony with thousands of guests on the lawn, as Louis Armstrong's version of "America the Beautiful" played over loudspeakers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.