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Off the Editor’s Desk 6-29-2022

What are we celebrating on July 4th?

If you thought it is the separation of the 13 United Colonies from King George III of Great Britain, you were correct. On July” 4, 1776, was the day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress. The document contains 1337 words and lays out why the 13 Colonies are separating from Great Britain. The following are part of the first two paragraphs of the Declaration.

“WHEN in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitles them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

“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.”

A committee consisting of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston were appointed to draft a statement declaring the reasons for the separation from Great Britain. Jefferson wrote the document and he presented to the others for their review. Adams and Franklin suggested some minor changes and the document were presented to the Congress on June 28th.

It was passed on July 2nd by a 12 to one vote with New York abstaining because the New York representatives had not received instruction from their legislative. July 4th was the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, on July 3rd, about the Declaration in part saying, “But the day is past. The Second Day of July 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 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 of Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

There, you now have some back ground on what we are celebrating.

Thanks for reading!     ~Carlton

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