John Adams was pretty much right 241 years ago when he envisioned the celebration of our nation’s independence from Great Britain as a day “to be celebrated by future generations as the big anniversary festival. It should be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God. It is to be celebrated with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from now on for still.
At the time, he thought these celebrations would take place on July 2, when the independence resolution was approved, rather than two days later, when a final version of the declaration of independence was officially adopted. .
No matter. Add food-filled family gatherings to the list, and Adams had a pretty good idea of how Americans would want to celebrate this date, well into the 21st century. Perhaps it’s because, despite our many differences, Americans have always wanted to get a little exuberant in celebrating our independence – recognizing that “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that ‘they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. “That to guarantee these rights, governments be instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
Happy Independence Day, ladies and gentlemen, don’t forget to spend a few moments today to remember who we are and how we got here.
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“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be granted; it has to be achieved.
— President Franklin D. Roosevelt
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“The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation.”
— President Woodrow Wilson
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“Those who won our independence believed that freedom was the secret to happiness and courage was the secret to freedom.”
— Supreme Court of the United States
Associate Judge Louis D. Brandeis