When most people think of the 4th of July they think about getting a day off of work, fireworks, family picnics, parades and a number of others fun activities. No matter how old we are we still get that kid-like feeling with the anticipation of the first boom. We still stand in awe as the lights flash in the night sky as if it is our first time seeing them.
This year I'd like us to remember the history behind this great holiday. Independence Day is as its name suggests the moment when our country decided to proclaim its independence from the rule of King George III of Great Britain. It was a time when our founding fathers stepped into uncharted territory and took a risk.
In 1776 our country was in its infancy. They were finding their way and trying to figure out what worked for us. We knew what we wanted but can you imagine how scary this step would have been? On July 2, 1776 our Continental Congress voted to proclaim our independence from Great Britain two days later our Declaration of Independence was made public. This action was the first of many that made The United States of America the great country it is today.
John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail: The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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.
In the spirit of John Adams words to his wife on the first anniversary we celebrated with 13 gun salutes (one for each colony), toasts, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, fireworks and ships were decked with red, white and blue bunting.
So this year as you gather with your families and friends and you plan your picnics it is important to remember what it is we are celebrating and why it is such an important part of our history. As you anticipate that first boom consider dedicating the first 50 to our great United States of America.