This year, many are upset that firework displays have been cut on military bases across the country. It's no wonder Americans hold the practice dear, as it not only harkens back to the first Independence Day celebrations, but to other patriotic traditions that have emerged since.
"It reflects our National Anthem and Francis Scott Key and what he saw back in 1814 when he was in Baltimore harbor," Heintze says, referring to the origin of Key's "The Star Spangled Banner."
"The rockets' red glare" may have referred to an American flag Key saw waving triumphantly during a battle in the War of 1812, but since it has come synonymous to the explosions in the sky Americans see every Fourth of July. "It seems to reflect something that's truly American," Heintze says.