Friday, July 4, 2008

Why Celebrate the 4th of July?

I wish I was techy enough to put a really cool patriotic picture right here. Too bad...you'll just have to have a vivid imagination...

Today, most of us are off work. Of course! It's a holiday. Most of us will celebrate the day by eating and socializing. Maybe...just maybe... we should think about why we celebrate at least a teeny, tiny bit more than we do?

From the Declaration Of Independence:

"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."
Most of us learned the quote above sometime during our educational experience. But have you ever actually read the WHOLE Declaration of Independence? If, like me (until a few hours ago), your answer to that question is a shame-faced "...ummm...no, not really." Then take the time today to educate yourself and just read the document. You can read it here. It won't take that long...go ahead...do it...then come back here, if you feel like it.

Here's a timeline from: http://www.ushistory.org/Declaration/timeline.htm

1776

June 7
Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, receives Richard Henry Lee's resolution urging Congress to declare independence.

June 11
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston appointed to a committee to draft a declaration of independence. American army retreats to Lake Champlain from Canada.

June 12-27
Jefferson, at the request of the committee, drafts a declaration, of which only a fragment exists. Jefferson's clean, or "fair" copy, the "original Rough draught," is reviewed by the committee. Both documents are in the manuscript collections of the Library of Congress.

June 28
A fair copy of the committee draft of the Declaration of Independence is read in Congress.

July 1-4
Congress debates and revises the Declaration of Independence.

July 2
Congress declares independence as the British fleet and army arrive at New York.

July 4
Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence in the morning of a bright, sunny, but cool Philadelphia day. John Dunlap prints the Declaration of Independence. These prints are now called "Dunlap Broadsides." Twenty-four copies are known to exist, two of which are in the Library of Congress. One of these was Washington's personal copy.

Apparently, Thomas Jefferson wrote a super-lengthy first draft of the document (apparently, he was very 'wordy' like me!). Then, a bunch of these guys got together and hammered out the edits.

These guys were really smart -- and DEEP! I wouldn't have thought of half the things they did. Actually, I can't even pronounce some of the words they used. They laid out all their beefs in a clear format for the king. They were being abused and they had had enough.

These guys were desperate. Hey! If you were the victim of "repeated injuries and usurpations" you would probably do the same thing! They had tried and tried to go through the correct lines of protocol, to no avail.

They had even appealed to their British brethren; "appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity."

These guys were tough. They didn't like the king disbanding their legislative bodies "for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people." Maybe that is what we need today --some "manly firmness." Whatever happened to that?

These guys knew exactly what the "Patriot Act" was all about several hundred years before it was enacted. What do you think they would say after learning we let them take our freedoms so easily; after they fought so hard? They were talking about the tyrannical king when they said, "He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands." They knew very well how it felt to be accused of terrorism by their friends.

These guys were gutsy entrepreneurs. (much like the Weso's!) They were willing to put their money where their mouth was. Many of them donated their entire fortune to the cause. There is a great website that gives you a snippet about the lives of each of these brave men. Check it out here.

These guys were godly men. They were "appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions"...

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary

"Rectitude:
1 : the quality or state of being straight
2 : moral integrity : righteousness
3 : the quality or state of being correct in judgment or procedure"
I wonder. How many in our country today are as dedicated to freedom as these folks were?

How about you?

How about me?



....stepping down off my soap-box...

Hope your 4th is full of family, fun, fellowship and freedom!

Stay tuned.

4 Click here to Comment!:

Kelsey said...

WOW WTG awesome post!!

Kelley said...

What a good home-schooling mom!

About 10 minutes ago I was one of those shame-faced somebodies who had never read the entire declaration, yea, I am no longer one of them! Thanks for sharing that info. It definitely hypes me up to celebrate today. Now if only I could find some Americans to celebrate with me:-)

mamajil said...

This was great!
Thanks for taking the time to share it with all of us!!
Hope you had a great day!

Laura said...

Great post! You might enjoy reading or watching "John Adams". We have seen several parts of the mini-series and thought it was just amazing. Really gave you an idea of what these men were up against and what kind of intestinal fortitude they had to have. Semper Fi!