On this Independence Day as we celebrate the birth of our country it is good to reflect on the freedoms we have and those who have sacrificed their lives for us to enjoy that freedom. John Adams, the second President of the United States wrote to Abigail, his wife on July 3, 1776 about celebrating this special day. (original spellings are kept)
The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, 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 Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not. (The Book of Abigail and John: Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, Harvard University Press, 1975, 142).
I realize that many this year may not be celebrating this holiday as they have in the past. For those with family serving in the military overseas it is difficult. Due to the fires in Colorado some areas are not having fireworks for safety reasons. In other areas of the country the hot weather has caused some jurisdictions to put their celebrations on hold. In my area, some still do not have electricity due to a severe storm with hurricane winds. Mom and I will be watching some celebrations on television as it is still too hot for her to go outside and most of the family is out-of-town. We usually grill out with family and sometimes visit the parade and fireworks of my brother’s hometown.
However you are celebrating this year remember what a privilege it is to live in the United States. Here is part of the 2011 firework celebration in New York City. Enjoy.
What Fourth of July traditions does your family have