Posted at: 07/05/2012 12:10 AM
By: Dan Levy
ALBANY - The rockets red glare was both sensational and symbolic. It was a pyrotechnic wonder that filled the Albany skyline with color, and filled the elbow-to-elbow crowd with patriotism.
"The Fourth of July means freedom and independence," said Dr. Matthew Mirabile, attending the show with his wife.
"It's the freedom to be who you want to be and where you want to be," said Kelly Vanderhayden of Kinderhook.
For American music legend Tommy James and his Shondelles, there's no place he'd rather be on the Fourth of July then on stage, playing Rock n' Roll music.
"There's nothing like America," James stated. "The flavor of America, everything about America. There's something about doing Rock n' Roll in the U.S. that's different then doing it anywhere else because it was an American phenomena. It's typically American."
On the very same stage that James was performing on Wednesday night, twenty brand new Americans took the oath of citizenship earlier in the day, and began celebrating their freedom for the very first time.
"This is where I want to live the rest of my life," said Vasyl Hereha, a 23-year old Union College graduate who emigrated from the Ukraine and was sworn in Wednesday.
"I was born in Italy, so I'm blessed to be here," said Diana Mirabile, "It's a wonderful country with wonderful freedoms."
Tens of thousands of people were cherishing their freedom on Wednesday night.
"As Thomas Jefferson said, "We're always on a slippery slope." It's one step to the right and we can lose our freedom very easily."