Independence Day: A Moment to Reflect

Independence Day: A Moment to Reflect

“Today, we celebrate our Independence day.”

It’s one day a year that we line our streets with American flags, fill the air with the smell of fireworks, and talk it up about how awesome it is to celebrate the 4th of July.

*tires screeching to a stop

“What did you just say?”

“I said, ‘the 4th of July.'”


“What the heck was that for?”

“You said you were going to ‘celebrate the 4th of July’, that’s what!”

Alright, enough of the back and forth. I think you get the hint. And, I want to take just a second to rant about this for just a second. Sure, it technically is the 4th of July. But we don’t celebrate the 4th of July. We celebrate our INDEPENDENCE on the 4th of July.

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. It really does get to me. Why? Well, for one, it just doesn’t make sense. Why would we celebrate the date? Shouldn’t we celebrate what happened… on that date? YES! That makes sense.

I sincerely hope we haven’t forgotten just what we’re to celebrate either. So many people think it’s just another day to get off from work. Or go to the lake. Or… whatever, you get my point. It’s about celebrating the declaration of our independence.

In a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated July 3, 1776, John Adams said:

“Time has been given for the whole People, maturely to consider the great Question of Independence and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their Fears, and allure their Hopes, by discussing it in News Papers and Pamphletts, by debating it, in Assemblies, Conventions, Committees of Safety and Inspection, in Town and County Meetings, as well as in private Conversations, so that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. — This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago.

“But the Day is past. 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.”

Are we doing this all wrong? Not entirely. They understood what was done. Even they celebrated. But they didn’t celebrate the day, they celebrated the completion of the act. For Adams, that day should have fallen on the 2nd of July. And, if we did our homework, we would know the course of events and why.

So, what are we celebrating? A day… or the declaring of our Independence?

I challenge you to take time out of the day to read the Declaration of Independence. Ponder on what it really says. Take a second think about what they really did.

On this, the fourth day of July, I wish to you a Blessed and Happy INDEPENDENCE Day.

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