Happy 4th of July

Lees Resolution

Today is a glorious day in American history because we celebrate the birth of our country as in independent nation. However, our independence was actually declared on July 2nd when the colonies voted unanimously for independence.  July 4th was when the Declaration of Independence was accepted by the Continental Congress.

John Adams would say “The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha 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.”

Through my travels around this great country I have seen many a 4th of July celebration and John Adams prediction rings true (except for the date of course). My concern is that so many people have forgotten that this day is more than games, shows, parades and fireworks.  It is a day of reflection on what our forefathers did to secure liberty and freedom and how we seem to be giving it away inch by inch. I was reminded of this when I read an article on the Fair Tax website this morning titled “Would Thomas Jefferson Think We Are Free?”:

What if Jefferson were to revisit America today? Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743.  In his lifetime he saw his country transformed from an English colony to a country ruled by its own citizens. Remembered by many as the author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson also served as President and guided the young nation through eight turbulent years.  When Jefferson died on July 4, 1826 at the age of 83, he left a country and a people whose commitment to the ideas of the Declaration of Independence seemed firmly in place.

On April 13, just after dinner, there is a knock on your door.  When you open the door, you see a tall slender man with red hair.  He introduces himself as Thomas Jefferson. You don’t automatically slam the door and call the police but, almost against your will, you invite him in your home.  Somehow you accept that this man is not an escapee from an asylum but that he really is Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson is curious about everything and has a number of questions for you.  He marvels at all the new technology in your home. He insists on a lengthy explanation and demonstration of all the appliances and machines in your home.   Amazed at how quickly he understands the new technologies, you suddenly remember the statement made by President John Kennedy when he hosted a gathering of Nobel Prize winners at the White House.  President Kennedy said, “This is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”  Continue here…

While this article specifically deals with taxation, it is applicable to all the signers and to all situations such as the debacle over the Confederate flag, the excessive regulations, endless wars, over involvement in other country’s affairs and so on. I can only hope that on certain instances such as desegregation and the end of slavery they are standing proud but I know that they are profoundly disappointed in so many other ways. Yet I still hold out hope every 4th of July that their principles, rationality and common sense will be rediscovered yet again.  While in many instances I am profoundly disappointed at the lack of historical knowledge, I am still proud that no matter what the progressives do, individualism still rules in this society and we look on group think mentality as an absurd notion which denies us our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. For that I am profoundly grateful.
As you go about your holiday, please take time out of your day to read the Declaration of Independence to your family and discuss its importance not only then but today. Have a wonderful and Happy 4th of July with all the pomp and circumstance that you can muster.