DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- In Downtown Durham, we met families from all over the city who come from different backgrounds, but share common feelings around family, friends, and fellowship.
"Now we're like, Okay, time for ice cream," said Pena Majeed holding her toddler.
For Majeed and her family, the Fourth of July holiday has a new meaning.
"I think growing up, I always really enjoyed celebrating the Fourth of July with my family, like we always did something, we would go to fireworks, and we were dressed in our red, white, and blue," she said. "But I think the older that I've gotten, and the more that I've learned about my history, the Fourth of July just doesn't mean as much to my family anymore."
Majeed said Juneteenth has come to have a greater meaning.
"We enjoy celebrating a lot more because it means more to my family's legacy," she said.
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted separating the United States of America from Great Britain and gaining its Independence. A culture was created to celebrate the country's liberty and freedom.
But it wasn't until June 19, 1865, that the last enslaved people in the United States learned they were free. It's part of history William Palavicini is keeping at the front of his mind this holiday.
"July 4 is Independence Day. There are a lot of people who don't feel independent. It kinda has taken a little bit away from Independence Day," Palavicini said.
Palavicini, who is originally from Costa Rica, said this holiday he is also remembering immigrants who now call America home.
"I think there are so many different nationalities, my family comes from Costa Rica, right? And we have a lot of different family, friends from different places," he said. "They still celebrate their independence day from their original country here. So July 4, we get together, but it's not the same as it used to be when I was a kid."
Still, history holds its place for many families. A summer holiday, America's birthday, of sorts, celebrated with fireworks, barbecues, parades, and fun.
For Kim Thiessen, it's where her love story began.
"Me and my husband met on the Fourth of July, and then we got engaged the following Fourth of July. And then we had a party with our friends," she said.
Thiessen's family has made their own traditions that have carried over since her engagement.
"We all became a big group around me and my husband, meeting and getting engaged. So we have a big thing out every year and now our kids all hang out with our best friends. So yeah, it's just a really good time for family and friends," said.