CHICAGO (CBS)—An idealistic all-American community, West suburban Riverside is ringing in the 4th of July this year with music as patriotic as the town itself.

Hundreds of the town’s residents, ready to get a jump start on Independence Day celebrations, gathered on lawn chairs and blankets at the center of town Tuesday night at Guthrie Park to hear live patriotic music.

For many, the patriotic songs offered a chance to reflect on what it means to be an American. The patriotism wasn’t lost on the musicians performing on stage, either.

“When you hear the Star Spangled Banner or the end of the Rhapsody Blue it makes you feel so proud,” said Emily Bear, a 16-year-old piano protégé.

She was rehearsing Tuesday night to take the stage at Millenium Park on the 4th.

A lot of American patriotic music has the same sort of sound and style to it, so whenever you hear that style it stirs that same feeling in you—it’s like, ‘Go America.’”

Gino and Judy Catalano had their lawn chairs propped open on the lawn Tuesday afternoon as they stole a sneak peek of Bear’s 4th of July piano set.

The couple agreed that the country could use a good dose of patriotism right now.

“There are such different views on each end, and they’re colliding,” Gino Catalano said.

Mokena residents Tyrone Beecher said all Americans should unify on the 4th to connect with our roots as Americans.

“It’s time to reflect on what we have here,” Beecher said.

The all-American music underscoring the holiday serves as a reminder that there’s always hope.

Here’s what Chicago Police are doing to prepare for the 4th.




Vince Gerasole