Star Spangled Banner flies over original Washington to mark USA Independence Day

The Star Spangled Banner is raised over Washington Old Hall, the ancestral home of America's first president, as the annual 4th of July celebrations got underway this morning, organised in partnership by the National Trust, Friends of Washington Old Hall and Sunderland City Council.'Picture shows students from George Washington Primary School with Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran and Jon Gann from Washington DC
The Star Spangled Banner is raised over Washington Old Hall, the ancestral home of America's first president, as the annual 4th of July celebrations got underway this morning, organised in partnership by the National Trust, Friends of Washington Old Hall and Sunderland City Council.'Picture shows students from George Washington Primary School with Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran and Jon Gann from Washington DC
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The Star Spangled Banner was raised over Washington Old Hall to mark Independence Day.

The ancestral home of America’s first president – George Washington – provided the venue for the annual Fourth of July celebrations this morning as scores of school children took part in the event.

Picture shows Robyn Brown from the National Trust leading the ceremonies

Picture shows Robyn Brown from the National Trust leading the ceremonies

One of the highlights of the day was the raising of the stars and stripes flag by special guest Jon Gann from Washington DC, creator and director of DC Shorts - a short film festival in Washington DC – while the American national anthem was sung.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran said: “When I became Mayor of Sunderland this was one of the annual events I most looked forward to, representing the people of our city at an occasion which symbolises our unique links with the United States and its capital.

“The Friendship Agreement between our city and Washington DC is something we can all be proud of, and something which continues to create significant benefits.

“The event is all about celebrating our shared past, but also an opportunity to look forward to our shared future and it is fantastic to have our partnership with Washington DC so much at the heart of today’s celebration”

The event is all about celebrating out shared past.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran

Jack Stoker, chairman of Sunderland Youth Parliament, gave a reading from the ‘Declaration of Independence’ and Martyn Foster from Broadway Junior School read Martin Luther King’s ‘The Dream’.

Presentations on the theme of Liberty were also given by John F Kennedy Primary school, George Washington Primary School and Broadway Junior School.

Sunderland Mayor Barry Curran making a speech

Sunderland Mayor Barry Curran making a speech

Sunderland Mayor Barry Curran making a speech

Sunderland Mayor Barry Curran making a speech

Students from John F Kennedy Primary School singing

Students from John F Kennedy Primary School singing

Students from George Washington Primary School singing

Students from George Washington Primary School singing

Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran singing the American national anthem with Reece Anderson, 15, from Washington School wearing Washington Grey's uniform of George Washington's bodyguard

Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran singing the American national anthem with Reece Anderson, 15, from Washington School wearing Washington Grey's uniform of George Washington's bodyguard

Reece Anderson, 15, from Washington School presenting the flag wearing Washington Grey's uniform of George Washington's bodyguard

Reece Anderson, 15, from Washington School presenting the flag wearing Washington Grey's uniform of George Washington's bodyguard

Picture shows (l-r) Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran, John Shankel and his partner Jon Gann from Washington DC

Picture shows (l-r) Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran, John Shankel and his partner Jon Gann from Washington DC

Picture shows (l-r) MP Sharon Hodgson, Eleanor Blyth Secretary of Sunderland Youth Parliament, Jack Stockert, Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran, Jon Gann from Washington

Picture shows (l-r) MP Sharon Hodgson, Eleanor Blyth Secretary of Sunderland Youth Parliament, Jack Stockert, Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran, Jon Gann from Washington

Picture shows (l-r) Reece Anderson 15, Robyn Brown (National Trust), Jack Stockert, Jon Gann, Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran, students from George Washington Primary, John F Kennedy Primary and Broadway Junior School

Picture shows (l-r) Reece Anderson 15, Robyn Brown (National Trust), Jack Stockert, Jon Gann, Mayor and Mayoress Barry and Carol Curran, students from George Washington Primary, John F Kennedy Primary and Broadway Junior School