238 years ago today, the United States of America first celebrated the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and asserted their independence from The Kingdom of Great Britain. It was the birth of our country. Today this birthday is marked with BBQs, fireworks, parties, fairs, parades, and a day off from work. But back in 1776, this day marked the start of a war.
It can be hard to remember what the 4th of July is really about. We get caught up in the food, the beer, the vacation, and forget to take a moment to remember the bravery, the battles, and the genius of the men who made Independence Day possible.
How many of you would have the courage to speak out against a tyrannical government? How many of you have the courage to even speak out about what’s wrong with our government today? The men who came together to declare our independence were some of the bravest men in history. They BELIEVED in something with so much passion, and had so much faith, that they were willing to commit treason. The were quite likely afraid of the consequences of their actions, but they knew they had to stand up for what was right. They undoubtably knew they were starting an intercontinental war, but they chose to first use the written word, rather than violence. Yes, violence resulted, but it was defensive.
At the signing of the Declaration, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife in which he stated,
“It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
The supporters of the Declaration were able to change history and create a new nation, through words. They were willing to defend those words, they were willing to fight for their beliefs, but they first created their nation with reason. I believe this is why our country is so great, and why we have been so successful in such a sort period of time. We were not founded on battles and persecution, but on documents. These documents set us apart from all the nations before us.
Today we live in a time where terrorism and war threatens our world, where countries are invaded and regimes topple in the space of a day. We have been attacked, but we have not fallen. Through September 11, 2001 and all the days after we remained true to the documents that created our country. We have not been afraid to defend the Declaration and Constitution and the values for which they stand. We must continue to do so if we want to continue to survive and to be great.
Today you just have to look at a newspaper, or turn on the TV to see that our future is uncertain. Our government is straying from the documents that created it, and the results have not been particularly pretty. I suggest we look to our founding fathers for guidance at this time. They were willing to fight and give their lives to defend the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. They founded a great nation unlike any other with these two documents and the defense of their contents. We need to do the same today. We need to recognize the value of our founding documents, and we need to defend their contents.
Remember what Independence Day is really about.
God Bless America.