I am apt to believe that it [Independence Day] 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 triumph in that Days Transaction, even though We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not. - John Adams
Unfortunately, while I shall remember the works and sacrifice of many generations have led to the freedom and prosperity we enjoy today, I sit here, 233 years after the Declaration that began it all, and wonder if the current trend, which involves us trading freedoms for security under an ever-burgeoning government, will result in my kids never understanding the true meaning of freedom when they grow up.
So whatever your poison may be (Bush big-government "conservatism" or Obama neo-Marxist paternalism), we live in a country that is losing its way. Or in the words of another Founding Father (who, incidentally, wrote the document we should all read on this day:
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. - Thomas Jefferson