It's an even more notable July 4th this year on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, where the Statue of Liberty is open for the first time since Superstorm Sandy pummeled the Mid-Atlantic region last fall.
Not even Superstorm Sandy could keep the mermaids from coming back to Brooklyn.
The Mermaid Parade is a nautically themed and occasionally naughty parade that draws close to a million people to Coney Island, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, each June. Sandy nearly drowned the organization that hosts the parade, but supporters donated more than $100,000 to get the parade back on its fins this year.
Across the New York region, people are still working to rebuild homes and businesses after the havoc wrought by Hurricane Sandy. But the storm also devastated the dunes and native flora of New York's beaches.
When the city replants grasses on those dunes, it will be able to draw on seeds from precisely the grasses that used to thrive there. That's because of a very special kind of bank: a seed bank run by the Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Staten Island.
When Congress voted on federal relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey earlier this year, five of the seven Oklahoma representatives and senators voted no. Rep. Tom Cole, one of the two who voted yes, warned that someday Oklahoma would be asking for help — and that day came last week after a massive tornado.
The storm ripped through the city of Moore, in Cole's home district, killing 24 people and destroying thousands of homes.
And let's go now to the Jersey Shore. As Scott mentioned, businesses are re-opening. Most beaches and boardwalks were ready for the Memorial Day weekend crowds. But months after Sandy, some towns are still rebuilding - in some cases, just starting the demolition phase.
Here's Tracey Samuelson, from member station WHYY.