July 4, 1776 is a day that has been enshrined in the history hall of fame, at least on this side of the Pond. I doubted that this date was celebrated in 1777 since the country was tied up in the throes of a lengthy war, but there were some celebrations on that first anniversary. There might have been some apple pie that day, but definitely baseball and hot dogs were conspicuous by their absence.
Fun facts: Did you know that Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day – July 4, 1826? Later, another president, James Monroe, also passed on to the next world on the fourth of July. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, is the only president who entered the world as a Yankee Doodle Dandy baby.
Actually, it turns out that some of the founding fathers calculated that July 2nd would be the day of national celebrations. John Adams said: "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."
Historians argue whether Congress really signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all wrote that they had signed it on that day, so that's good enough for me. Most historians conclude the Declaration was signed on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4. Just think of the linguistic bullet we dodged by that possible alteration. The "fourth of August" would never have fallen trippingly off our tongues nor fit nicely into songs like the "fourth of July."
As inconceivable as it can be to this old guy who grew up in the Leave It to Beaver era, pride in our flag and country is frowned upon by a seemingly growing segment of our populace. We even have a president who does not even pay respect to our flag or tradition. Pride in America seems less popular in 2012 than Gay Pride, Union Pride, and Pro-Choice Pride. Is this a Brave New World, or possibly a harbinger of a coming One World government? Could this possibly have something to do with school history books being replaced with versions that omit the hand of God from the founding of this nation? Just sayin!
Adlai Stevenson said, "Patriotism... is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." The winning of freedom was not a one time shot accomplished when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. Ongoing maintenance to preserve that freedom is mandatory. In other words, it is necessary for us to continually fight to retain the rights brought to us by the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. As this song so aptly informs us – Freedom Isn't Free http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYGV8bdrHrk
I believe it's time for Americans to dedicate ourselves to securing our liberties (especially dealing with religion) and passing on the torch to the new generations, so that this democratic government, which re-introduced freedom to the world, indeed will not perish from this Earth.