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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more. - John AdamsSo our second President was off by two days, mainly because the document stating what was done that day was ratified 232 years ago on this day.And so we rejoice and remember. We gather together to sing praises and enjoy each other. We bow our heads in thankful prayer and gather to illuminate the sky in pyrotechnic displays that draw ooohs and aaahs.
For what was done that day had begun long before in the mother country of England. And many countries would follow in embracing their own form of freely elected government of the people. But freedom in the modern world began here.
In a small space of history, we have gone from a diverse set of colonies, to a government of laws, not kings and nobles. We have tamed a continent and survived divisions. We have faced disasters and stood against the enemies of freedom. We have become the greatest power in the world, reaching out to our neighbor in the sky, but we have been a source of hope for so many around the world.
We have lost our way many times through history, but have always returned to the path of righteousness in the end. We have known the failings of men and of governments, but we have always repaired the breach. We have been guilty of crushing our fellow man, but we have come back to heal the damage. And though we have more to do, as there is always more to do, we will succeed where others have failed.
All are welcome to our shores, to bring their own culture to us, yet through this we forge a common American culture, incorporating the best of everyone. The diversity of opinion, the rank disagreement, the divisions that define us as "whatever"-Americans strengthens us by that which makes us all Americans first.
No matter what your beliefs, no matter how your politics run, no matter the year, we are reminded this day of that which makes America the beacon of hope, the light of truth, and the source of freedom in this world.
May we all be blessed forever with these freedoms. Happy Independence Day.