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Declaration Day

July 4, 2008

Today is July 4th. This morning I spent time with my wife enjoying a parade – and a little sun burn. This afternoon was spent with fine friends at a picnic filled with food, fellowship and music. Tonight my wife and I will be off to see fireworks. During this time I have been contemplating the Declaration of Independence. I very rarely think of the Declaration of Independence at this time of year but earlier I had read David McCullough’s book “1776” . It’s an amazing account of American history during the year 1776. I was contemplating on the incredible amount of courage, discipline and honor that a group of men had on July 2, 1776 at the Continental Congress declaring their independence from Great Britain and what that meant to the men fighting the battle. Two days later on July 4th, 1776 the Continental Congress would formally adopt that declaration.

“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.”

The spirit of this declaration can be captured by what John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3rd, 1776 in a time of war.

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Tonight as I’m watching these illuminations shoot into the sky and explode in balls of sparkling color I can remember this anniversary.

To all those from 1776 to today who served our country to protect those freedoms and unalienable Rights – thank you. Thank you very much. You are my heroes.

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