Fireworks aren't just for the Fourth of July in America. People the world over have tantalized one another with pyrotechnic displays for at least 1,000 years. Here, a Palestinian boy plays with fireworks to celebrate the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Gaza City on June 30, 2014. Hatem Moussa/AP
The floral bursts seen at this June 21, 2014, laser and fireworks show in St. Petersburg, Russia, are formed from aerial shells that pyrotechnic operators launch into the sky. A time-lapse fuse delays detonation until the shells reach an optimum height and explode into a spherical bursts of colored stars that leave visible spark trails reminiscent of the long petals of the effect’s namesake flower, the Chrysanthemum. Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters
A series of fireworks shells rupture into delicate ribbons of light over the Detroit skyline during the annual Ford Fireworks show in downtown Detroit, June 23, 2014. A variation on the Chrysanthemum, this Dahlia effect has fewer, larger stars that leave longer, arching trails. Robin Buckson/Detroit News/AP
Comets and aerial shells fired in concert paint dazzling palm trees over Bluebell Beach in Genesee Township, Mich., on May 25, 2014. The comets leave a trunk-like trail that lingers in the air while an aerial shell bursts atop the 'trunk' and cascades down to form palm fronds. Samuel Wilson/The Flint Journal/AP
Gold comets with red tips burst over Nashville, Tenn., during the September 2006 American Pyrotechnics Association Trade Show and Convention. This effect, reminiscent of 'rockets' red glare,' comes from a small cylinder known as a comet containing a single explosive star that streaks straight up into the sky. Gregg Smith/American Pyrotechnics Association
In an effect known as cascading pearls, fireworks rain down on the US Capitol, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, July 4, 2008. This awesome display requires precise detonation with just the right pressure to softly break up an aerial canister filled with stars and metal salts that cascade downward like a waterfall. Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP
The feathered effect seen in this fireworks display is created by a small insert inside an aerial shell, which flies out of the canister and spins upward, releasing streaming whistles and serpents that swim downward. This effect has been dubbed the tourbillon, after the French word for whirlwind. American Pyrotechnics Association
This luminescent symphony of fireworks lights up the night sky over the Neva River and the Peter and Paul Fortress during the annual school leavers' night show in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 21, 2014. This multilayered effect comes from three different types of ground-launched fireworks. Bright red flares burst along the water’s edge with color comets soaring high above a string of blue mines. Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters
Clusters of several comets erupt from New York Harbor to celebrate the 125th birthday of the Statue of Liberty on Oct. 28, 2011. Each cluster arises from a single canister containing a series of explosive pellets. The pellets burst simultaneously, creating a fountain-like effect known as a star mine. The various colors are the result of different metal salts contained in the fireworks. Lucas Jackson/Reuters
About 9,000 immigrants are becoming naturalized US citizens this week, including 25 whose swearing-in ceremony took place July 4 at the White House with President Obama. Few who are eligible walk the path to citizenship.
ByCheryl Sullivan, Staff writer
The White House rolled out the red carpet this Fourth of July for 25 immigrants to take the oath of citizenship, hosted by none other than President Obama. But for all its trappings and dignitaries, it is an event that in substance is much like some 100 other naturalization ceremonies across America during the holiday week – a reminder that amid the political turmoil over illegal immigration, the nation still regularly embraces the foreign born into the ranks of the citizenry.