(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners once again participated in Philadelphia's July 4th Celebration of Freedom and Independence Day parade – a major annual event in the nation's birthplace. This was the 14th consecutive year that practitioners have been invited to partake in this celebration of freedom, the pillar of American values.

The July 4th celebration is near and dear to the hearts of residents of Philadelphia, where the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the Celebration of Freedom ceremony, which kicked off the parade at Independence Hall.

The Falun Dafa banner leads the Falun Gong entry (Falun Dafa is another name for Falun Gong).

Practitioners' waist drum team adds bright color and diversity to the festival atmosphere.

The practitioners' waist drum entry and exercise demonstration were well received by local spectators and tourists alike.

Practitioners demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises at the post-parade festival, the Party on the Parkway. Children from the local Minghui School also performed Chinese classical dance. At the Falun Gong booth, practitioners offered origami lotus flowers, informational materials about Falun Gong, and demonstrations of Chinese calligraphy.

The Falun Gong booth is a popular attraction at the post-parade festival.

Many Philadelphia residents signed the petition to call for an end to the Chinese regime's state-sanctioned crime of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.

One woman who signed, Ms. Washington, shared with practitioners, “I knew about the persecution of Falun Gong as early as 2005. I cried right away: this persecution absolutely shouldn't be happening!”

Mr. Lee Latino and his girlfriend Ms. Melissa Cortez happily display their Chinese calligraphy – “Falun Gong is good” and their Chinese names. They support practitioners' effort to end the persecution in China.

Lee and his girlfriend Melissa from New Jersey learned about the crimes of forced organ harvesting for the first time. Lee was very sympathetic to the Falun Gong practitioners under persecution in China. He said that he was deeply saddened by the news of the illegal organ harvesting, describing that it felt like a sword had been stabbed into his heart. Melissa was heartened to learn that many Americans and over 160 congressmen are supporting the pending U.S. Resolution H. Res. 281, condemning the Chinese regime's organ harvesting crimes.

Falun Gong practitioners' presence at this prominent community event also drew the attention of Chinese tourists and new immigrants. They acknowledged that the persecution of Falun Gong has no legal basis and were pleased to see practitioners enjoying their freedom and civil involvement in the United States.