Saturday, July 4, 2009



July 4th! Independence Day! This is our uniquely American holiday when we honor our freedom and American heritage. We hold parades, display fireworks and wave flags. We celebrate the 4th as a day to let the world know we continue to stand for freedom for all of our citizens.

I’m proud to be an American, not only when a particular party in is power in Washington, but all of the time. I’m proud of the citizens of our country, that we can elect our leaders without bloodshed or riot. I’m proud of my ancestors who fought valiantly to preserve the freedoms that we have today. I’m proud of every American who continues to fight for our country today to ensure that our freedoms continue.

Rather than July 4th, we could be celebrating on the 2nd. The second day of July in 1776 was the legal separation of the colonies from Great Britain. It was on that day that the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution of independence. The final approval, however, took place on July 4, 1776. It was not until August 2 of that year that the first signature was placed on the Declaration of Independence.

John Adams, who later became our second President, wrote to his wife Abigail: “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.”

We continue to fulfill Adams’ prophecy, although not on the exact day he suggested. But how blessed we are to live in a country which for more than 200 years has continued a celebration of freedom; a country whose citizens have continually cherished the ideals of our founding fathers.

America is a youngster compared to many countries of the world. I pray that we will be a civilization that will endure, aging gracefully, growing in wisdom, and forever protecting the ideals of our founding fathers. The freedoms that we enjoy are not to be taken for granted. It behooves all of us to continue to study our history, to read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; to elect leaders who are proud of our country; and to be proud ourselves that we are an independent nation of free people.

“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.”

Take a few minutes this July 4, or perhaps July 2, to re-read the Declaration of Independence. Think about the tyrannies of oppression from which our founding fathers were separating. Let us vow not to become a nation that forces that same type of oppression upon her citizens.