‘It’s melancholy’: Some observe muted July Fourth celebrations amid national crises

Families packed Kailua Beach on Monday for the grand return of the Fourth of July fireworks show.
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 4:52 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 4, 2022 at 10:41 PM HST
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KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fireworks lit up the night sky just off the Kailua shoreline on Monday, the culmination of a day of July Fourth celebrations that were muted by national crises.

With a battle over abortion rights raging and political stalemates in the gun control debate, not everyone was feeling patriotic this Independence Day.

“I’m here honestly just to celebrate another Monday with my family and friends at the beach,” said Kiana Arcayena, a resident of Kailua.

“If everyone wants to celebrate the Fourth of July, that’s on them. But I think everyone should take a step back and realize whose freedom are you actually celebrating here and who is actually free in this country.”

Others agree recent violence across the nation, including a deadly shooting at a July Fourth parade in Chicago, made it harder to come together to celebrate.

“It’s melancholy,” said Kailua beachgoer Janessa Gorgonio. “It’s not as red, white and blue. It’s just gray.”

Ewa Beach resident Shane Bohn is against abortion and supports responsible gun ownership.

He said July Fourth is about acknowledging freedom is about having different opinions.

“I think this holiday is worth celebrating,” he said. “And we can definitely have a sit-down talk about it.”

Families packed Kailua Beach on Monday for the return of the Fourth of July fireworks show. Like many celebrations happening, the event took a two-year hiatus.

Some people camped out overnight — while others got there as early as 3 a.m.

“We just out here having fun. What an opportunity we have to come out here and spend some time with family,” Aiea resident Fred Salanoa said.

“Just a great opportunity to spend time with family. With all this craziness going on, getting over this pandemic, just being able to enjoy the outdoors and wait for this fireworks festivities.”

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