CNN PRODUCER NOTE While sitting on the beach and watching the fireworks with friends, ahknaten says the mood of the evening was celebratory and romantic as people soaked in the ambiance. "It was a peaceful night on the beach. Kids and adults were running along watching the fireworks," he says. Adding that the night was also a reflective one as they thought of family and friends. "My cousin in particular serves on the USS Stennis and I wonder what he's up to on July 4th," he says. "As a Canadian, but a permanent resident of the states, I don't take July 4th for granted. It's an honor to live in this country and it's a fantastic country to live in."
- Anika3, CNN iReport producer
At North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, July 3rd, 2012. Went out on the beach and looked south towards Surf City (fireworks were in Surf City). We're located near Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune. As we sat on the beach and watched the fireworks, the camera caught a timelapse of the fireworks and some romantic couples. In particular, our friends unintentionally gave a little romantic show at the 0:13 mark in this timelapse. 446 photos pieced together from roughly 9:11 to 9:33. My cousin (through my wife) is on an aircraft carrier -- my wishes to him and those who work with him on this July 4th.