Happy 4th of July!
I’ve said it. You’ve probably said it. We should all stop.
Do you say Happy February 14th? No. You say Happy Valentine’s Day.
Do you say Merry December 25th? No. You say Merry Christmas.
Do you say Happy [insert month and date you were born]? No. You say Happy Birthday.
So why do we belittle Americas most important holiday by not calling it what it is – INDEPENDENCE DAY?!
In June of 1776 Richard Henry Lee of Virginia uttered these words at the Pennsylvania State House, “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
Lee’s words were what prompted the drafting of the Declaration of Independence which was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies on July 1, 1776. The next few days were met with revisions and the document was completed, signed and made official on July 4, 1776.
According to the Office of the Historian by issuing the Declaration of Independence, adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, the 13 American colonies severed their political connections to Great Britain. The Declaration summarized the colonists’ motivations for seeking independence. By declaring themselves an independent nation, the American colonists were able to confirm an official alliance with the Government of France and obtain French assistance in the war against Great Britain. [https://history.state.gov/milestones/1776-1783/declaration]
The Declaration states that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”
These words give us our rights, our freedom, our philosophy of government.
In a time where our own leaders and future leaders are being ever questioned, we should look closely at the 240-year-old principles which ultimately gave us the freedom to elect our leaders.
July the 4th is not really about ribs, or beer, or the lake, or fireworks, or the sale at Hank’s Fine Furniture. It is about our independence. Our ability to have our own leaders that we elected ourselves. It paved the way for us to become the United States, for the abolition of slavery, women’s rights and any number of other “freedoms” that are being fought for today.
So next time someone wishes you Happy 4th, smile and say, “Happy Independence Day!”
To Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.