“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 tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
– John Adams July 3, 1776
That’s right America! Happy 2nd of July! What?
One has to love a country that, by and large, gets its history dates mixed up. Or actually does not know its history dates. Not a problem, we tend to be a nation that is happy with close enough. And there is a fairly large window of Forefather activity leading up to and following Independence Day; so, it is easy to stir it all up, and celebrate on the traditional 4th of July.
In truth, independence was formally declared on July 2, 1776. On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the final text of the Declaration, which had been written by a band of five appointed in June, 1776. And it was not signed until August 2, 1776.
And taken altogether, is there a greater hallelujah chorus in a written document than our Declaration of Independence’s second paragraph?
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, That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
I love our country, its past, and its future. On this particular day, two days ago, or any day; it is important to never, never forget how we became who we are, and to keep fresh in our minds “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”