Fireworks illuminate the sky over the U.S. Capitol building and the Washington Monument during Fourth of July celebrations, on Friday, July 4, 2014, in Washington.
Evan Vucci—AP
By TIME Video
July 5, 2014

This Fourth of July, despite the best efforts of Hurricane Arthur to disrupt proceedings, Americans gathered to launch pyrotechnics in to the sky, because freedom.

Whereas sometimes this has the capacity to go wrong, 2014 saw a wave of spectacular displays across the country.

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