As I write this many have gathered or are gathering for cookouts, games, parties, and of course, fireworks. The fourth day of July has for a long time in this nation been a day of celebration. It was prophesied to be such when the Declaration of Independence was written and approved by the Second Continental Congress by our second President, John Adams, who was one of the Massachusetts delegates (of course, he was talking about July 2, the day the Declaration technically passed).
I’m not attending a real fireworks display tonight — not because I’m against it or don’t want to necessarily, but because I’ve just driven 2-1/2 hours to come back from Dayton and I’ve got three small girls who should be in bed at least an hour before it’s really dark here. Yet, there is a seriousness about this day of celebration that is definitively forsaken in 2010, and considering where our country has been heading for the past century, and where it is today, we would all do well to learn our history and take a lesson from the founders.
By signing the Declaration men were, in effect, pleading guilty to a capital crime inasmuch as it concerned the British. They were risking their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors for the sake of the liberty of the American states.
The video below is a clip from Part 2 of the miniseries “John Adams,” and I believe it captures the spirit of the signing well. The motion being carried was not met with whooping and hollering, but with silence. They realized the ramifications of the document and what would be the price of freedom.
In a day when Americans and their states have become the subjects of a government seated far closer than London, it would do well to remember that this is not merely the fourth of July. It is Independence Day.