What’s this I hear about July 4th?
today at 7:53 am
Everywhere I looked I saw ads for July 4th savings on this and July 4th savings on that, so I googled it to see what was happening on July 4th.
Turns out that today is a celebration of a holiday called Independence Day and this is the 245th anniversary of that day.
King George III, King of Britain and Ireland ascended to the throne in 1760 at the age of 22; inexperienced and disturbingly oblivious to world affairs. The young king never seemed to outgrow his pettiness or petulance.
George wasn’t a bad king, as kings go and many of the policies like the Intolerable Acts, the Stamp Act and the Townshend duties that led to the American Revolution were actually passed by British Parliament – with Royal assent.
Discontent had been brewing in the colonies for years and by April of 1775 open rebellion was in full swing. On July 4, 1776 the 2nd Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, giving it the following 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.
In short, the American colonists were breaking the bonds of despotism, tyranny and one-man rule. We didn’t want a king, we wanted to elect our officials and have them govern in OUR NAME.
Fun fact: To this day Britain still has no formally written or codified constitution, instead relying on a collection of laws, regulations and legal precedent as guidelines. The last formal document they had was the Magna Carta, issued in 1215 and relevant only in 13th Century England.
Our current form of government was established in 1887 by our Constitution, divided into three parts so as to create equality among the three branches of government and set out a system of checks and balances.
Ten amendments – the Bill of Rights – were added to the Constitution, ensuring individual and states rights and ratification of the newly written Constitution.
Free reign was never intended for any branch of government, although Article I of the Constitution establishes Congress, the branch created to make law and maintain continuity.
There was a reason Congress was created first and it wasn’t to impede progress, get rich off their donors or embrace alternative facts to curry favor with a certain segment of the electorate.
Apparently there’s more to this Independence Day than mattress sales, barbecues and fireworks. Undoubtedly, there’s a certain inspiration here, a certain pride in being American and an undeniable feeling of patriotism.
What then, is this thing called patriotism?
Patriotism is defined as devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country. It says nothing about devotion to or support for any one man or any single ideology.
There have been some stark and some subtle changes in America over the past few years and this might be a good time to consider what it means to be American, what it means to be patriotic.
To love America is to love its people, ALL its people and appreciate that the freedom and opportunity that is uniquely American and is available to each of us must be available to ALL of us.
The support mentioned in the definition of patriotism refers to our government, even when our guy gets kicked out of it.
No man is entitled or ordained to be our president and it only stands to reason that there will be periods of time when the sitting president is not of our personal choosing.
It’s the continuity of our government and the peaceful and respectful transfer of power from one man to the next that is the very foundation of America. That is what we love, that is what we support.
That is patriotism.
Have a very safe and happy Independence Day. If you’re going to play with fireworks, remember three things: Light, drop, run!
You can read more about Independence Day by clicking HERE.
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