Some district residents say terrorism thoughts always close on Independence Day

People in Washington D.C.’s Tenleytown neighborhood discussed their opinions Thursday regarding the potential terrorist attacks on July 4th, fearing the nation’s capital could be a target.

Brittany Jones, 24, admitted that she is not one to celebrate the Fourth of July, but said she would fear the chance of terrorist attacks.

“When you think about fireworks and gunshots, you can’t really determine what’s what,” Jones said.

“I mean, yeah, I wouldn’t want to go down there, because then that would make me a target,” Jones continued about the festivities on the National Mall.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security released a joint bulletin June 26 titled “Holiday Celebrations Remain Attractive Target,” citing the likelihood of ISIS to attack large celebrations during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Despite the warning, Haley Sayre, 23, is planning on celebrating at the National Mall with her friends.

“I mean, it’s scary,” Sayre said. “The people that are supposed to protect us the most are warning us about a terrorism threat, and that’s what scares me the most.”

As a Massachusetts resident who has never witnessed a fireworks display, Sayre is excited. However, she is still uncomfortable about the situation and noted the 2013 Boston Marathon attack struck close to home.

Sayre answered that she normally would not go to watch the fireworks because of the heightened risk of attacks, but pressure from her friends has made her want to go despite the risks. Government security warnings are a help to some.


Fireworks over the National Mall in Washington D.C. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

The National Park Service said on its website that visitors will be screened at all entry points to celebrate July 4.

Jones appreciates the warning and security: “They should, just to be giving people a heads up, just in case something did happen.”

Others, like Sayre, have mixed feelings. “I don’t really think it’s right for them to scare us, but I think if they do think something is going to happen, they should let us know.”