Today is theJuly 4th, and I find myself thinking of what the true meaning of Independence Day" means, and the cost that was paid for our freedom. I have always loved our country. I remember the days when each morning before our school day began, we would all rise & place our hand over out heart and say "The Pledge of Allegiance".
We celebrate the Fourth of July because it's the day we received our Independence from England. True, however this is not the entire reason that we celebrate the Fourth of July, nor is it the reason that the Fourth of July holiday came about.
In the 18th century the United States was not considered the United States. What we now call states were called colonies. The United States was an extension of England. Many people traveled from England via ships to settle in America, however after a period of time, differences began to develop which caused a split between Britain and America.
At first, as the colonies were being settled, for the most part they were ale to develop freely but things changed in 1763. Britain decided that they needed to take more control over the colonies & that the colonies needed to return revenue to Britain. The colonies didn't agree with the new rules and felt that since they were not represented in Parliament that they shouldn’t have to pay any kinds of taxes to Britain. That is where the saying “no taxation without representation” came from. As Britain continued to tax, the colonies formed the First Continental Congress in an attempt to convince the British government to recognize their rights. As well all know, this didn’t work & war was declared, which is known as the American Revolution.
These people were considered moderates & radicals and decided that enough was enough and that any kind of taxation without representation was considered tyranny. People such as John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Ben Franklin, as well as a group called the Sons of Liberty decided that it was time to unite all of the colonies and to stand together against Britain.
During the course of the American Revolution a second Continental Congress was formed. It is this group that adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was drafted by John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. After the first draft was written by Thomas Jefferson, it was revised by Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson before it was sent to Congress for approval. All thirteen colonies stood behind the Declaration of Independence and adopted it in full on July 4, 1776.
This is where the Fourth of July holiday comes in. The Fourth of July is known as Independence Day because that is the day that the Second Continental Congress adopted the full and formal Declaration of Independence. Even though we had declared that we were independent, the American Revolution was still being fought, which meant that we were still not independent. Regardless of the ongoing war the following year, people in Philadelphia celebrated a muted Fourth of July.
The Fourth of July us one of the most patriotic holidays in the United States. As we celebrate the Fourth of July via barbecues, beach days, boating, & enjoying the Firework Displays, let us not forget that many paid the ultimate price of sacrificing their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do. Our rights came at a very high price. A special shout out of thanks to our military & their families!
God Bless America!
Colleen Sullivan/Associate Broker