Posted 7/03/19 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
As Americans across the country get ready to celebrate July 4th or more importantly this country’s Independence Day, it behooves all of us to remember why we celebrate this day. It is more than just another paid day away from work so that we can head to the lake or some other popular recreation area. And it is more than watching parades and shooting off fireworks.
The Fourth of July is the birth of the United States. It was the day back in 1776 when our forefathers and the framers of this nation’s Constitution decided that it was only fitting that we as Americans should celebrate our freedom from England. And as John Adams, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence 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 illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”
And so on the morning of July 4, 1776, people in those 13 colonies that would soon become the first states in this great country celebrated by firing salutes, ringing bells, flying flags and decorating windows in red, white and blue.
Every American today needs to remember those brave men and women who decided to tell Great Britain that their rule over the American colonies was over. The battle for America’s freedom was hard fought. But in the end, the struggles that our forefathers faced now allow us to enjoy the greatest personal freedoms of any country.
Today, thanks to them, America stands as the bastion and symbol of democracy around the world.
In their Declaration of Independence, our nation’s founders, wrote, “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Those powerful words are why on July 4, we celebrate America’s Independence Day.
So on this July 4th, go ahead and celebrate by shooting off fireworks, flying our nation’s flag, going to a parade or just by joining together with friends and neighbors as America celebrates its birthday.
But remember the strength and conviction of our forefathers in setting in motion all that it would take to make America a free country. And remember those who have fought, and continue to fight, for this country across the world to ensure not only freedom for those of us on the home front, but to those living under tyranny.
It is our responsibility to continue to make America the country that our forefathers dreamed it would be.
Have a happy Fourth of July.