Independence Day is an important day in the United States.

In 1776, the Continental Congress declared the 13 American colonies were no longer a part of the British Empire and would be recognized as a new nation — thus asserting independence from British rule. This action led to the creation of the U.S. Constitution over a decade later.

But for years, the rights our independent nation promised only applied to certain people.

Black Americans, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and many other communities didn't get to experience the same freedoms. Instead, to varying degrees, they experienced persecution.

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For a fleeting moment leaving the chemotherapy treatment center, Josh Katrick forgot about the year he'd been having.

He'd just gotten an email telling him that — out of roughly 1,200 names — his was the one randomly selected from a raffle at Mario's Pizza in Northampton, Pennsylvania. A lot of free pizza was coming his way.

The family-owned local hot spot had held a promotion giving away two large pizzas and one two-liter beverage every month throughout 2017.  

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We asked, you answered: Here are 15 of the best gifts you've ever given.

'My gift to them ended up being one of the best gifts I ever got too.'

What's the best gift you've ever given someone?

It doesn't have to be a tangible thing or something life-changing. As long as it made a difference to that person in the moment they received it, it counts.

Image via iStock.

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Have you ever gone to Christmas Mass at 4:30 in the morning? For nine days straight?

I did once.

You wake up at dusk, walk to church, run into people you don't see a lot, sing holiday songs half-awake, and when Mass is over, you usually eat traditional street food.

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