The Wawa Welcome America festival’s Gospel on Independence returned on Sunday with an in-person audience on the Mall, featuring live on stage soulful, spirited voices that pay tribute to gospel legends from the tristate area.

Carolyn Cavaness, pastor of Bethel AME Church of Ardmore, acknowledged in the opening prayer how much we have been through in the last 16 months, and noted those we have lost, “now looking down upon us, as there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.”