FOCUS: Saturday is July 4th, a day to remember (July 2)

This coming Saturday is a very special day in the history of the United States.  Families are usually involved with picnics, fireworks and special groupings during the weekend of July 4th.  With the coronavirus, such events might not happen this year.  If your family plans a celebration, take the precautions suggested to keep everyone safe.  I was told that the City of Buckhannon will have fireworks on July 5th.  Watch the news and read the paper to see the place and time. Everyone is asked to use fireworks only on July 4th to keep many family members and pets safe from the loud noise which can cause many problems for those who are surprised by loud noises.  Many folks have issues with the sound of fireworks.  Enjoy your fireworks and be safe when using them.  Have your firework celebration on July 4th

Why to we celebrate July 4th as a holiday?  I basically know the answer to this question.  However, many have no idea why we have a special celebration of July 4th.  We are also faced with the question as to why we should celebrate at all.  There are those who wish to do away with any special day in the life of the United States history.  There are those who now want to get rid of our National Anthem.  Will all of our special dates in history be lost?  I hope not.

July 4th is Independence Day commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.  According to the history of our Declaration of Independence it was actually July 2nd when our Continental Congress declared Independence from Great Britain.  This Independence gave us the birth of the United States of America.  The Revolution leading up to this Independence happened in April of 1775.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776.  The Second Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.  The Declaration of Independence was signed in August of 1776 and delivered to Great Britain in November of 1776.  I never knew about the difference in the dates or how long it took for this Independence date to become final.  These men were the writers of the Declaration of Independence:  Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston.  On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the final text of the Declaration of Independence.  This included 13 states of the United States of America.  The Declaration of Independence or declaration of statehood is an assertion by a definite territory that it is independent and constitutes a state.

July 4th became a National Holiday 100 years later.  In 1870, almost 100 years after the Declaration was written, Congress first declared July 4th to be a National Holiday as part of a bill officially recognizing several holidays including Christmas.  Further legislation was passed in 1939 and 1941 including July 4th as the designated date of celebration for the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. The significance of this final date of July 4th was due to the deaths of both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4th, 1826 only hours apart from each other.

The significant aspect of the Declaration of Independence is that it changed the American “rebellion” against Great Britain into a “revolution.”  From April 19, 1775 to July 2, 1776, the war was being fought so the colonists could regain their rights as Englishmen which had been taken away by the British from 1763 to 1775.  On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the resolution by Richard Henry Lee from Virginia that “these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, and they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connections between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.” This was truly a revolutionary statement. John Adams felt that July 2 would be the day of celebration.  July 4th was the day chosen as our Independence Day.

The main points of the Declaration of Independence are found in the Preamble which serves two purposes.  It is fulfilling the ordinary purpose of a preamble to act as a declarative summary and to set the stage declarative executive by defining the philosophy that was used to compose the body of the document, it serves as a bridge to the Declaration of Independence.  Over the years our citizens have memorized the Preamble: “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.”

  • All men are created equal…All men have basic human rights given to them by God… Government is to protect these basic human rights… Jefferson included: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The Declaration of Independence also states that Government must be by the consent of the governed.  (Government shall be Of the People, By the people and For the people.)

Everyone should read the Declaration of Independence.  In 1775, our forefathers fought for the freedom of the United States of America to be a nation where everyone was free without the dictations of another nation.  To find out more about the Declaration of Independence go to the internet.  I hope I am writing correctly with the information that I checked out.

I am amazed with the forefathers who helped to give America the government in such a way that our Constitution is the law of the land.  Unfortunately, there are those who wish to change our history by taking it away piece by piece.  Statues of our former leaders tell the story of America’s history and how our country is so rich in the history of how it was formed.  We need to protect and preserve our history to see where we have come from and who made decisions sometimes right and sometimes wrong.  Much of our true history has been put aside, rewritten and forgotten.  We need to remember how our country was formed, why it was formed and how it changed.  We need to know the stories of the men and women who made America what it is today.  We need to Pray for America.  We need to Pray for our leaders in all forms of government.  We need to quiet the anger that seems to be rampant in America and around the world.  We can make good decisions that continue America’s path of freedom for all or we can continue the hatred against our neighbors and lose everything that has made America the hope and justice for all who live within our borders. We can open dialogue to make better decisions and to do so means to listen to one another in peace not by destroying the symbols of our history.  Our history has made us who we are.  America is a country founded by a people who wanted to be free.  The Declaration of Independence is the declaration of America’s independence.  We are created equal with the rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Why would we want to change these principles?  We need to make sure that these rules are never changed.  If the Declaration of Independence is changed, the government will cease to be of the people, by the people and for the people.  Our government will be the power that makes all the decisions for us.

I like to listen to Dr. James Merritt, pastor, as he talked about what was important in this turmoil within our nation. He talked about what is politically correct and what was spiritually correct. He asks the church to pray for our leaders, participate in government and to preach the truth.  He said we should use our voices in prayer not criticism.

We need to discuss issues of importance in a way to make peace not war.  If we are not careful and learn from our mistakes, we will destroy our nation from within.  Pray for our nation to resolve our differences with a peaceful attitude instead of hostility.  Our laws have been put into place to keep our nation safe.  We need to respect others even when we disagree with their ideas.  We have the right to free speech, free press (honest free press), and it is time we as a nation respect those rights in a peaceful way.  I always think of the best rule to go by.  “Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you.”  This rule is found in the Bible as the Golden Rule.  Treat your neighbor as you wish your neighbor would treat you.  That means All people.

I hope you have found some of the information on July 4th, Independence Day interesting.  I tried to highlight how our Independence Day came to be.  I hope I wrote the information with clarity.  As you celebrate this July 4th and those in the future, I hope you do so with thankfulness for those who fought to make this nation free.  One person can make a difference in a nation and in the lives of others.  By working together, much can be accomplished.  Many good decisions can be made when we share our ideas, hopes and dreams.  Listening to others is also very important. We need to Pray for America to be One Nation Under God with Liberty and Justice for All. 

I wish you and your family a happy and safe July 4th.

I wish to close this history of July 4th with a few statements from Thomas Jefferson.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.  Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.  Never spend your money before you have it.  Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.  Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.  How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened?  When angry, count to ten, before you speak: if very angry, count to one hundred.  – Thomas Jefferson



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