Lower Manhattan celebrates July 4 with parade, cannon salute

LOWER MANHATTAN — When you think of the birthplace of our nation, you probably don’t think about Lower Manhattan.

“Some people think of Boston, Philadelphia, Virginia, but really we are equal if not more important than them,” said James Kaplan, President of the Lower Manhattan Historical Society.

Wednesday morning in the neighborhood started off with a bang in Battery Park. The Veteran Corps of Artillery, State of New York fired a cannon salute to all 50 states.

“We were founded by Washington’s artillery officers in 1790, and since about 1790 we’ve been firing off the battery,” said Col. Ray Mechmann of the VCASNY.

The Lower Manhattan Historical Association also celebrated their fourth consecutive Independence Day Parade. Marchers traveled through Bowling Green, passed the New York Stock Exchange and ended at the South Street Seaport.

City Councilwoman Margaret Chin served as the grand marshal. Organizers say the event was meant to highlight the city’s role in the American Revolution.

“It’s really in my view an alternative to other ways of celebrating July 4, like the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, [and] backyard barbecues," said Kaplan. "People can come out and really see the city.”