Americans mark today, July 4th, as the anniversary of the birth of the United States. It has become a giant national birthday party, complete with more fireworks than one could ever imagine.
Historians tell us this birthday celebration probably is a couple days too late. They say the Continental Congress actually declared our independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. (Future President John Adams even predicted July 2, not July 4, would be the anniversary celebrated by Americans in perpetuity.)
But Thomas Jefferson’s immaculate Declaration of Independence was dated July 4, 1776 and adopted on that day. The Continental Congress celebrated our independence on July 8, but some of the original 13 states didn’t receive the good news until early August. The English, we’re told, didn’t learn that their former colonies had separated themselves from England until Aug. 30.
At any rate, even Congress’ first celebration on July 8 in Philadelphia featured fireworks, a parade and the firing of guns. Though Congress didn’t declare July 4th a national holiday until 1870, the anniversary of our nation’s founding has been annually celebrated since 1776.
And well it should be. For all of America’s imperfections, and for all its citizens’ disagreements, the vast majority of Americans agree and realize that the United States is the greatest nation in the world.
When the Founding Fathers embarked on this grand experiment in 1776 and shook off the chains of an oppressive master, freedom was loosed in the land and we have remained free ever since.
We owe our freedom to those who dared dream of it and to those who fought and died to preserve it.
On this Fourth of July, let us celebrate all that is great about America, and pledge our allegiance once again to these United States.
On this Fourth of July, let us acknowledge our differences and disagreements, yet resolve not to let them divide us to our detriment or destruction.
On this Fourth of July, let us salute the flag, embrace our freedom and realize that whether we are Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, black, white, Hispanic or Asian, we are all red, white and blue at heart.
The Founding Fathers crafted the declaration of independence believing that America could be something greater than England, and they were right.
As we again celebrate this monumental historic event, let us come together as "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."