SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The smell of sizzling steaks and eager kids filled the air as hundreds of people converged on downtown Shreveport for the annual Fourth of July celebration.
But as the nation celebrated its anniversary and independence from tyranny, KSLA News 12 wanted to find out what people can do every day to become better Americans.
So we asked you for tips on how we can be a better country than we were yesterday.
This is what you had to say:
"I just feel like everyone should be treated the way you'd like to be treated," said Mary Grimm, a Texarkana, Texas, resident. "If we just looked at everybody as just being people and not a race or color, I really think the world would be a much better place."
The nation needs to set aside its differences and unite, said Reginal Johnson, a Kansas City, Mo., resident in Shreveport for a family reunion.
"I think people of all races need to come together, shake hands and just be one, unite. Think about the economy and things we're going through today."
Martha Aurienna, who was spending time in Northwest Louisiana as part of the Fourth of July festival's steak cook-off, thinks Americans need to embrace their differences and become better listeners.
"What I feel is really important to be better Americans is to stop bashing each other and and stop bashing each other for differences of opinions.
"I think everyone can have a difference of opinion and be respectful. ... You might just learn something."
Shreveport resident Shamus Germany wants the nation to refocus its eyes on God.
"If we keep our eyes on Him and never lose site of Him or His doctrine, it's easy peasy. That's it!"
Robert Bruce,a former airman and soldier from Columbia, Louisiana, said we need to be slow to speak and quick to listen.
"Take time before you open your mouth to understand that everyone's got their own needs. We all have needs, but we need to work together to get it."