Happy Independence Week!
This Thursday, and probably the days leading up to it, you will surely hear a number of people wishing you a “Happy 4th of July”. The sentiment is well intended, but unfortunately less meaningful than it could be.
You see, it isn’t a date we’re celebrating. We don’t wish people a “Merry December 25th!!”. No, July 4th is just the date on which Americans celebrate an actual holiday: Independence Day!
It is the day commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
According to John Adams in a letter to his wife Abigail,
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. 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 illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, for evermore. You will think me transported by enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this declaration and support and defend these states. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even though we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not.
These days it seems the “rays of ravishing light and glory” are dimming, but so long as even a spark of the true spirit of the American experiment can remain ignited, the possibility is kept alive that the embers may once again be blown into a raging fire when the circumstances mandate.
Let’s never forget the sacrifices made by our founding fathers and vigilantly seek to be the caretakers of the remaining embers.
An idea, if remembered, never dies.
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