Happy Birthday, America! What does patriotism mean to you?

Posted: Updated:
WOODBRIDGE -

Americans across the country will celebrate the 243rd anniversary of the nation’s independence this July 4.

What it means to be an American and what it means to be patriotic differ among the country’s citizens.

News 12 New Jersey spoke to some New Jersey residents who were setting up for the Woodbridge Fourth of July celebration about what it means to them to be patriotic.

“It could be the smallest thing as helping your neighbors or going out and setting up a whole fireworks show to make a town happy,” said event staff member Anthony Furstoss.

MORE: Guide: Fireworks in New Jersey  

Woodbridge resident Shobhana Patel said, “You have to respect the country…do anything for your country.”

Vito Cimilluca, director of recreation in Woodbridge, said that you have to give back to the community.

“Helping your neighbor to be better,” he said.

Cimilluca also said that serving in the United States military is a way to show pride in America.

But fireworks show producer and Marine veteran Kevin Furstoss said that patriotism is about “respecting our laws and our cultures.”

Others said voting, civil service and volunteering were ways to show off their patriotism.

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