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Today’s guest post written by
The History of Independence Day
To every STORY…there is a BACK STORY. The back story is the facts and events that led up to the creation of the actual story.
I believe that in order to really understand and appreciate a story, you need to understand the history, or back story.
So today, I am going to do that with Independence Day.
I am saddened when I talk to people, and witness on the news, that many Americans have no idea how the story of our Nations birth came about.
I believe that knowledge is power, and knowing the names and stories of the people who made it possible for America to become the greatest nation in the world should be known and remembered as cherished moments of our history.
If we don’t know the story, how can we have the passion and drive to protect that history, and the freedoms that were established by those great men and women?
So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and I will take you back in time to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The Road to Independence
In 1761, fifteen years before the United States of America burst onto the world stage with the Declaration of Independence, the American colonists were loyal British subjects who celebrated the coronation of their new King, George III.
The colonies that stretched from present-day Maine to Georgia were distinctly English in character and overall lifestyle, although they had been settled by Scots, Welsh, Irish, Dutch, Swedes, Finns, Africans, French, Germans, and Swiss, as well as English.
As English men and women, the American colonists were heirs to the thirteenth-century English document, the Magna Carta, which established the principles that no one is above the law (not even the King), and that no one can take away certain rights.
So in 1763, when the King began to assert his authority over the colonies to make them share the cost of the Seven Years’ War England had just fought and won, the English colonists protested by invoking their rights as free men and loyal subjects.
It was only after a decade of repeated efforts on the part of the colonists to defend their rights that they resorted to armed conflict and, eventually, to the unthinkable…
Separation from the motherland.
The sole governing authority at the time that was presiding over the tumultuous events of the American Revolution between 1774 and 1789 was a group of men known as “Congress”.
With no power to regulate commerce or lay taxes, and with little ability to enforce any of its decisions, this group, representing the thirteen colonies, declared independence.
They conducted a war that defeated one of the greatest military powers of its day.
And invented a new political entity that became a sovereign independent nation.
(Yet we today, were afraid to demand that those laws that were set forth and established be upheld and respected)
Its members pondered everything from the rightness of independence to the number of flints needed by the armies…
Sometimes with the enemy not far from their doorstep.
Asserting their rights, they found themselves labeled as traitors. Which was a very serious offense at that time. Yet, they bravely forged ahead, with little regard to the consequences for themselves.
Now lets step back into history and be a “fly on the wall” for just a minute. I want to describe to you the enormous struggle that it must have been for these fifty-four men to come to some form of agreement and draft the document that would change the world!
With no history of successful cooperation, they struggled to overcome their differences and, without any way of knowing if the future held success or nooses for them all, they started down a long and perilous road toward independence.
(How wonderful would it be, if the men in Congress today, could set aside their personal differences and work together for the greater good, like these men once did?)
In June 1776, as Thomas Jefferson composed a draft of the Declaration of Independence from a second floor parlor of a bricklayer’s house in Philadelphia, the largest invasion force in British military history was headed for New York Harbor.
By the time the last of the fifty-six signers had affixed their names to the final, edited document months later, an invading force of British soldiers had landed at Staten Island.
The British had taken New York City.
The American patriots had committed themselves to a long and bloody struggle for liberty and independence.
The Declaration announced to the world the separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain and the establishment of the United States of America.
It explained the causes of this radical move with a long list of charges against the King.
In justifying the Revolution, it asserted a universal truth about human rights in words that have inspired downtrodden people through the ages and throughout the world to rise up against their oppressors.
Jefferson was not aiming at originality.
The Declaration articulates the highest ideals of the Revolution, beliefs in liberty, equality, and the right to self-determination.
Americans embraced a view of the world in which a person’s position was determined, not by birth, rank, or title, but by talent, ability, and enterprise.
It was a widely held view, circulated in newspapers, pamphlets, sermons, and schoolbooks.
(I am deeply saddened, that much of that pride has been lost in our society today.)
I can only imagine the tremendous task and responsibility that Thomas Jefferson, the 33-year-old planter from Virginia, must have felt as he labored over the now, famous, immortal words known as the “DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE”,
On July 4, 1776, Congress completed its editing of the document.
The members formally adopted the Declaration; on July 19.
Congress ordered that a formal copy of the Declaration be prepared for members to sign; and on August 2, the final parchment–the one presently displayed In Washington DC–was presented to Congress and the signing began.
Have you ever read the actual Declaration of Independence?
Do you know what freedom really means?
Would you lay down your life to protect those freedoms if necessary?
Today, I want to thank first and foremost, my Uncle who lost his life defending our country in the Army.
My two brothers who served their country faithfully.
And my Sweety Jeff and his Brother Tim, for their service.
All my friends and classmates who joined the military and served us faithfully.
And also, all of the members of all Branches of the Military that are currently serving both at home and abroad to ensure that we can gather today in parades, enjoy potlucks at the public parks, and honor our history with beautiful displays of fireworks.
Tonight as we celebrate the Day of our Independence, please take a moment to pray for the continued success and protection of this great Nation, and lets stop being complacent, and start to stand up for what is right and true.
We as Americans, need to stand up and DEMAND that the original documents that were established under the direction of God, be honored and upheld.
We the people of the United States of America, need to once again stand strong and proudly united as ONE NATION UNDER GOD!
You can visit Melanie at her home blog: Humpty Dumpty Mural Magic
My name is Melanie Miera. I am a 42 yr. old single mother of four incredible children.
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