We celebrate the Fourth of July, our Independence Day, with picnics, parades, speeches, camping by a lake, and fireworks to entertain us. Most of us have no idea, or no longer remember our history lessons, what this day was like in 1776.
The words declaring our independence from Great Britain, written on a piece of parchment paper, was adopted by the Continental Congress. The document was signed on August 2, 1776 by 39 men representing all Colonies, States. No big deal. Done and done, right? Wrong!
Signing this document, literally, was like signing their own, and their families, death sentence. They knew that the British Army would bring down the full wrath of the King. These “United States” did not have the numbers, nor the arms, to defend and defeat against an attack of this magnitude. Wrong again! They had “fight and fire” in their bellies with a determination beyond description to be FREE!
Against all odds, and against all reason, those sheets of parchment paper, that Declaration of Independence told the world that these United States (Colonies) are FREE!
The only importance of the 4th of July in 1776 was to mark the birth of a new nation, these United States of America! The first celebration took place after the public reading of the Declaration of Independence and the ringing of the Liberty Bell.
The coat of arms of the King was taken down, canons boomed, and as a parade took place, the people cheered! They cheered while knowing full well that the army’s of the King would soon bring unspeakable lose. They cheered as a new nation was born! What courage these men and women had!
That is what this day is about. Courage to stand for what is right and rightfully ours, as well as for every other person on this earth, FREEDOM!
John Adams, a signer of this document, wrote to his wife:
“It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illumination, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.”
That type of celebration would not take place again until 1788. And, after 12 years of rivers of blood, the deaths and bankruptcies of many who signed that Declaration of Independence, families torn apart, and farms and businesses destroyed, they did cheer once again. And on every 4th of July since, the sky across this nation of ours is filled with fireworks!
The price has always been, and always will be, very high for freedom everywhere! Remember this, as you go and celebrate these United States of America.
Remember to thank God.
And, thank a veteran!