One thing that I find greatly disturbing about this time of year are the people who think of Independence Day as nothing more than just another holiday. Time to go have a barbecue, take a small vacation from work, or say “oooh” and “aaaah” while watching fireworks explode in the sky…
It’s also a fact – most Americans call Independence Day simply “the 4th of July.” One has to wonder, now, just how long it will take until everyone forgets the meaning of this day, especially with our educational system the way it is.
Independence Day, as it is and always should be referred to, is not about the barbecues. It’s not about the fireworks. It’s not about horribly-made ’90’s Tom Cruise films. It’s about this:
|John Trumbull’s painting Declaration of Independence|
It’s also about this:
|George Washington rallying his troops against the British
at the Battle of Princeton
|Margaret Corbin valiantly loading a cannon
after she watched her husband fall to his death
In other words, it’s about sacrifice. It’s about bravery. And, most importantly, it’s about the building of the foundations of freedom on which this country is based.
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence, our shining symbol against tyranny, was drafted. 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence, between August 2, 1776 and January 22, 1777, including two future presidents, three vice presidents, and ten members of the United States Congress. What many don’t realize is that those 56 men were literally signing their death certificates. I would definitely consider that an ultimate sacrifice, and that sacrifice carried over into the American Revolution.
To commemorate the 235th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I released a poem you all know about called From a Soldier to His Comrade, a poem about a fictional American Revolution soldier who is thinking about his fallen comrade long after the war has ended. In addition, My American Revolution, a short story tribute to Revolutionary War heroine Margaret Corbin will soon be released and viewable online.
Please take a moment to reflect on what these people did for us. Just because it happened 235 years ago does not make it any less important to remember. Not in the least. It is my hope that one day soon, “the 4th of July” will regain its rightful name of “Independence Day” to all Americans. Let freedom ring!