Washington,July 04: Fear and fireworks will mark the first US Independence Day since Sept. 11, with military jets in the skies and anti-terrorism troops on the ground guarding Americans determined to celebrate the Fourth of July.
Despite government warnings of the potential for a new attack, millions of people were set to overcome their nerves and congregate at massive, traditional fireworks displays in major cities on the most patriotic date in the US calendar.
Americans on Wednesday also braved a heat wave to deck out yards and local parks with the Stars-and-Stripes flag ahead of customary holiday barbecues after President Bush invited his compatriots to celebrate "heartily" the 1776 Declaration of Independence from Britain.
But, reflecting a sometimes schizophrenic way of life that has emerged since hijacked planes slammed into U.S. landmarks and killed thousands of people, the State Department also urged Americans worldwide to avoid crowded places because of possible suicide strikes.
For the first time, the nation of immigrants that has developed into the world`s only superpower will honor its birth with its sense of security shattered.
Most Americans fear an attack against major US cities or landmarks is likely over the holiday, according to a Newsweek poll released last week.