(Minghui.org) This July 4th marks the 246th anniversary of the United States’ independence. Regions and states all over the U.S. celebrate this holiday with festivities ranging from fireworks to parades and from concerts to family gatherings. 

Falun Dafa practitioners participated in the 4th of July parade in Coronado, California and introduced their traditional spiritual practice to thousands of people. 

In addition to a colorful float, waist drummers in bright yellow costumes and a banner group, practitioners added a large replica of the English version of Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa. The banners read “Falun Dafa Is Good,” and “The World Needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” 

Falun Dafa practitioners participate in the 73th annual July 4th Parade in Coronado, California. 

“I am deeply moved by Falun Dafa practitioners!”

“Falun Dafa’s procession is vibrant and colorful and I am drawn to all of it!” said Julietta Corti, who came all the way from Burbank, Los Angeles. “Seeing Falun Dafa practitioners reminds me of how important freedom is. There is no freedom in China. Falun Dafa practitioners are still being persecuted in China and I am amazed to see practitioners here at the parade and I am deeply moved by them.”

Ms. Corti, who was once a Broadway dancer and choreographer, said that she admired the messages on practitioners’ banners. She especially liked the banner that read, “Reject The Chinese Communist Party,” and remarked, “This is very important. It is especially important during these times. We cannot lose our culture and freedom. We have to reject the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The message that practitioners are promoting is very powerful. This is great.”

Spectators Enjoy Falun Dafa’s Message 

Dana Gallop, the parade’s announcer, introduced the Falun Dafa practitioners and said, “I feel very good seeing Falun Dafa practitioners here. Both the music and costumes are beautiful. They look so peaceful and relaxed. This is what everyone needs.”

Many local residents said that they were happy to see practitioners’ procession each year. Noel Sarthou praised the Falun Dafa procession and said that it looked great every year. “The celestial maidens on the flower float were the most beautiful of all.” 

Noel also said, “I like Falun Dafa’s procession. Everything was great about them. I also liked the messages that practitioners spread. I’ve always wanted to cultivate and do meditation exercises, but I never had time because of my children. Now that I am retired, I have more time to learn about it.”

Another spectator, Sandy said that she was happy to see practitioners in the parade. “They look so calm and peaceful,” she said. “I also like the messages on the banners.”

Falun Dafa Practitioner: “We hope to spread the beauty of Falun Dafa”

Connie Chu, a Falun Dafa practitioner from China, has been part of the waist drum team for over 10 years. Although Ms. Chu has aged over the years, she still looks energetic and full of life. She said, “Falun Dafa practitioners in China are being persecuted, while here at this parade spectators show us respect by putting their palms together in heshi, and some even bow to us.”

Another practitioner, Rudy Blalock said that he participated in the parade to let people know the beauty of Falun Dafa. “The CCP controls the media and spreads false and negative information about Falun Dafa. There are still people who do not understand the truth about the persecution. I think it is very important to raise awareness of Falun Dafa and the CCP’s ongoing persecution.”

Mr. Blalock demonstrated the exercises on the float and said, “Whenever I opened my eyes I noticed a lot of people trying to imitate the exercise movements. So I think that the spectators might feel that Falun Dafa is very special because we exhibit peace despite the noisy crowds. This further displays the beauty of Falun Dafa.”

Background: What Is Falun Dafa?

Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was first introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in Changchun, China, in 1992. The spiritual discipline is now practiced in over 100 countries and regions worldwide. Millions of people who have embraced the teachings—which are based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance—and learned the five exercises have experienced improved health and well-being.

Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), perceived the spiritual discipline’s growing popularity as a threat to the CCP's atheistic ideology and on July 20, 1999, issued an order to ban the practice.

Under Jiang’s personal direction, the CCP established the 610 Office, an extralegal security organization with the power to override the police and judicial systems and whose sole function is to carry out the persecution of Falun Dafa.

Minghui.org has confirmed the deaths of thousands of practitioners as a result of the persecution over the past 23 years, though due to the difficulty in getting information out of China, the actual number is believed to be much higher. Many more have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith.

There is concrete evidence that the CCP sanctions the harvesting of organs from detained practitioners, who are murdered to supply the organ transplant industry.