English: The earliest known draft of the Unite...

English: The earliest known draft of the United States Declaration of Independence, a fragment in the handwriting of Thomas Jefferson. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey folks, if you haven’t noticed, this post is simulcast both here on Catharsis of the Bogue and Cantankerous Old Coots.  It is almost the 4th of July here in the United States, one of my favorite holidays.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 26th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you didn’t know, July 4th celebrates the day when a group of British citizens here in the American Colonies decided to give the finger to King George and make their own country.  July 4th is the day when those men we now call Patriots, signed one of the most important documents in the history of the world, the Declaration of Independence.

This is not just another day.  This is our Independence Day.  This is the day John Adams wrote to his wife about, saying,

“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 Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

Those brave men who wrote, and then ratified that Declaration were so far from the milquetoast government that we have now.  They knowingly put their names to a document that labeled each and every one of them traitors to the most powerful country on the Earth at that time.  And they knew what they could make out of this country.  They knew that King George was not the way.  They knew that we had to have our own laws, our own officials, our own taxes.

And now, this country, with all of the problems that we do have, still shines as a beacon to the world, a democracy, a republic that has lasted for over 200 years.  This Thursday is July 4th, when we should be with our families.  We should raise a flag at dawn and salute whilst saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  We should read that Declaration of Independence and understand what they were fighting for.  We should read the Constitution and know what our country is built on.  There is no better time to be a patriot.

Tonight, Tuesday the 2nd, I took it upon myself to teach my Cub Scouts about the Declaration of Independence.  They range in ages from 8 to 10.  Most of them had only heard of the Declaration (and no, Abraham Lincoln did not have anything to do with the Declaration, despite the insistence of one 8 year old).  I gave each of them a copy that they could read with their families.  We read it together and discussed what it meant.  The other leaders and I tried not to realize that We, as Citizens of the USA, need to send a slightly edited copy of this document to Washington.  But I digress.  I know it is important to teach the Declaration and it’s meaning.  And to debunk the map on the back.  It exists only in Hollywood.

The Fourth of July, Independence Day, should not just be the day we watch fireworks.  It shouldn’t be the day we finish cleaning the car, or mowing the lawn.  We should be thankful for this country.  We should give thanks to whatever God we worship that we are here, and are free of tyranny.  We should thank our Service Men and Women for defending that freedom that we began fighting for back in 1775.

I love going to community festivals on Independence Day.  I really like to be with others, celebrating this country and the fact that we are Americans.  I love the “Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations” that John Adams predicted.  I love to stand and remove my hat as the flag passes by during the parade, even when most people don’t bother.  I love to sing that National Anthem with a field full of people, all of like mind.

Many people say “Happy Birthday America.”  I do to.  But more importantly, I say , “Happy Independence Day.”   May you all have a great Independence Day, go out and celebrate, don’t let it be just another day.


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