Fourth of July – fireworks, picnic, barbeques, parades, vacations…baseball, hot dogs and apple pie! Our nation’s birthday is cause for celebration and remembering that our freedom was hard won and is much cherished.
Imagine the celebration commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence back on July 4, 1776. The legal separation of the original Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain happened just two days earlier, and the American Revolution finally had its reward.
According to Wikipedia, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence, and a poignant statement – penned principally by Thomas Jefferson – was brought forth to forever capture the decision:
“We hold these truths to be self-event, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
These words contained in the Declaration are so powerful that they have been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language [containing] the most potent and consequential words in American History.” Abraham Lincoln made this view of human rights the foundation of his political philosophy.
Interestingly enough, three of our nation’s founding fathers – who became U.S. Presidents – died on July 4: good friends John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died within five hours of each other in 1826 (on the 50th Anniversary of Independence Day); and James Monroe in 1831.
The Declaration of Independence became the cornerstone of building this great nation, and the political upheaval rejecting the authority of the British monarchy became victorious in the founding of the United States of America.
This Fourth of July, remember our history and those that gave all for our freedom and independence.