For much of the United States, this Fourth of July meant a return to normal celebrations—gathering with family and friends for picnics, barbecues, and fireworks. But with varied vaccine distribution plans around the world, and many communities still grappling with the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, this Independence Day remained largely virtual and socially distant for our U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. Still, while staying safe, U.S. diplomats and guests in their host countries, as well as audiences online, were able to enjoy music, learn about American traditions, and celebrate bilateral relations. Here’s a look at some of those celebrations:

U.S. embassies across Europe joined together to create a program featuring an assortment of Fourth of July traditions. For this virtual event, we travel to Portugal for barbecue, Sweden for the national anthem, Bulgaria for fireworks, and more. Watch here.

While also celebrating 55 years of diplomatic relations, U.S. Embassy Singapore presented their virtual Fourth of July ceremony with performances by the Inclusive Arts Movement (I.AM), a Singaporean social enterprise promoting equality between the differently- and generally-abled through the performing arts. Watch here.

U.S. Embassy Ghana held a similar virtual event with performances of both countries' national anthems. As part of the program, Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan made note of several milestone anniversaries in U.S. history, including 75 years since the founding of the Fulbright Program and 60 years for both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Peace Corps. Ghana, in fact, was the first country to receive Peace Corps volunteers in 1961! Watch here.

U.S. diplomats in Tunisia opted to forgo this year’s festivities and instead visited a local hospital to thank healthcare workers for their continued dedication on the frontlines of the pandemic. Read more.

Exchange program participants featured prominently in the virtual celebration of U.S. Embassy Pakistan with readings from the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and other seminal speeches by members of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PAUN). Watch here.

Freedom’s Boombox, a U.S.-based a capella trio, performed in U.S. Embassy Chile’s virtual celebration. While the group’s performance is not-to-be-missed, Chargé d'Affaires Richard H. Glenn also highlighted the success of a recent charity drive and the importance of community service. Watch here.

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