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Celebrating independence and start of a new life

SHARE Celebrating independence and start of a new life

At right, Alyona Marie Baker, 9, and her mother, Julie Baker, of Charlottesville, Va., center, greet Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, right, after a naturalization ceremony at Monticello, near Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday. Russian-born Alyona was among 84 people from 27 countries who became citizens of the United States at Thomas Jefferson's home. Albright told the new citizens she was reminded of her fears when she immigrated from Czechoslovakia at age 11. However, Albright said she learned that America offers a priceless opportunity to build a new life. Below, fireworks explode above the Washington Monument during the annual Independence Day show in Washington, D.C. The show was also a celebration of the Washington Monument, which will reopen to the public later this month after being closed for two years for a $10 million face lift. Officials expected a half million visitors for the day's events, which began early in the morning and included a parade and a concert featuring singer Ray Charles.