National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA helps keep July Fourth celebrations safe across the land of the free

July 5, 2019

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Confetti rains down at the completion of the song "Stars and Stripes Forever" during the Boston Pops Orchestra and Fireworks Spectacular.
Confetti rains down at the completion of the song "Stars and Stripes Forever" during the Boston Pops Orchestra and Fireworks Spectacular.
U.S. Navy

The Fourth of July is a time of great celebration for our Nation. It is a day to enjoy parades, barbecues, and fireworks. Though it’s easy to be captivated by the fanfare, it’s important to also remember the men and women who make it all possible. Many brave Americans are away from their loved ones on holidays so the rest of us can have fun. This includes our armed forces at home and abroad, local and state police, and – though few citizens know it – NNSA’s Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation. These experts deployed across the country to help keep July Fourth celebrations safe.

“To be American is about much more than the place we call home,” said NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty in an Independence Day message to the workforce. “It is a deeply felt commitment to higher principles: liberty, equality, and self-governance. Although freedom never truly comes without sacrifice, we are grateful for the blessings that freedom represents and for the opportunities it affords.”

  • Washington, D.C. – The Nuclear Search Program provided technical support to the FBI Washington Field Office’s nuclear/radiological detection teams. This included assistance with operation of sensor systems and assessment of data. Thousands of people attended the President’s address from the Lincoln Memorial as part of a “Salute to America on Independence Day” and observed the fireworks display on the National Mall.
  • Chicago – Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) Region 5 provided support to the FBI Chicago Field Office and the City of Chicago with preventive radiological/nuclear detection operations at the Navy Pier. RAP 5 provided scientific subject matter experts, command elements, and team members for the Joint Hazard Assessment Teams. The Chicago Independence Day fireworks celebration draws around one million spectators along the lake front, with at least 125,000 at Navy Pier.
  • Boston – RAP Region 1 provided support to the FBI Boston Field Office and the City of Boston with preventive radiological/nuclear detection operations at the Charles River. RAP 1 provided scientific subject matter experts, command elements, and team members for the Joint Hazard Assessment Teams. The Boston Independence Day fireworks and Pops Concert celebration is attended by approximately half a million people over two days.

Learn more about what NNSA does to help keep Americans safe every day of the year by visiting our website.

Children watch an Independence Day parade in Washington, D.C.
Children watch an Independence Day parade in Washington, D.C.
City of Washington, D.C.