Happy Birthday Americamelindahill | June 29, 2011
Happy Birthday America! As you and I gather with family and friends to watch the fireworks, picnics and parades, let’s not forget to share with our children the real meaning of this special time of celebration. Teaching them and reminding ourselves, why independence from Great Britain was important is another step in creating the character pillar of citizenship. We can also talk about the courage it took for our founding fathers to put in writing our “Declaration of Independence”. I found the following paragraph that summarizes the history:
Independence Day is the birthday of the United States of America and is celebrated on the Fourth of July each year. Independence Day is the anniversary of the day on which the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
John Adams, one of the founders of our new nation, said, “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 for evermore.” Independence Day was first celebrated in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.
In 1941, Congress declared July 4 a legal public holiday.
Today, we can enjoy the festivities. We should also have a moment of reflection for all of the men and women who have given so much that we might enjoy the freedoms we have today. When the Declaration of Independence was signed, those leaders of our country didn’t know if they would live to see independence. The Revolutionary War (American War of Independence) that followed this act was a monumental feat for a new country to take on Europe and their military forces.
There’s much to read about this event, more than I can summarize here. But as you are gazing at the fireworks, reflect on the freedoms that were bought with many lives. The last verse of the Star Spangled Banner may say it best.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!