Monthly Archives: July 2017

Freedom from the Kingdom: Independence Day

I remember back when we arrived in our classrooms at the beginning of the school day, nothing could commence before placing our right hands over our hearts and citing the Pledge of Allegiance. We would all face the flag that a student either held or was on a pole hanging from the wall. Every class had our national flag, and every student paid their respect.

Where has the proud, patriotic symbolism of our love for the United States gone?

I suppose we could debate this question among certain groups to no end. But as Americans, we all have the right to still pledge allegiance to our country, complete with ‘One Nation, Under God’ in our hearts and voices. The meaning of our freedom has been lost by those who haven’t fought for it, or those that take it for granted. But on July 4th, Americans who still have love for their country, the celebration really begins.

The date was July 4, 1776. It was the day the United States revealed the Declaration of Independence, thus declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. While the American Revolution was in full swing, legal separation of the 13 colonies took place (July 2, 1776). The United States had prepared a special document explaining this to the world. Thomas Jefferson led the way in writing the Declaration of Independence, a document that would solidify the United States as the land of the free and brave.

While the actual legal separation of the colonies from Great Britain was on July 2, 1776, Americans came to celebrate the federal holiday on July 4, the day the declaration was presented. There are also disputed dates among historians who claim the declaration wasn’t actually signed on that date. Additionally, John Adams wrote on July 3, 1776, to his wife:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. 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 forever more.”

John Adams was close. By a couple days.

But he was right about one thing: It has been ‘celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.’  What’s more fascinating is that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only two signers of the Declaration of Independence to go on to be President, both died on July 4, 1826. Coincidence?

Here we are, arriving at July 4, 2017, two hundred and forty one years later. Our founding father’s were on to something big, as the United States went on to be the envy of the world.

Our family will observe Independence Day as a gift of freedom. The smell of barbecue and sounds of children laughing will be in the air. I think our founders had this very vision in mind. We’re eternally thankful.

Happy Independence Day to all our friends across the country!

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