Thursday, July 4, 2013

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

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 entitle 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. –Declaration of Independence

Two hundred and thirty-eight years ago, 56 men from 13 independent Colonies met together to declare independence from the Great British Empire. This would either be an act of high treason or the start of a brilliant new Nation. It was a strange and bold idea for a nation to have a self-ruled government, of the people, for the people and by the people.

The Colonies had been at war with Britain for a year, after the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord, until the Second Continental Congress met on July 2, 1776 to look over a draft of the declaration. On July 4, 1776 the text was ratified. At this point there was no turning back. The Declaration of Independence was in black and white for the King and world to see, and for the Colonies to win a nation. It was not until 1783, after the Articles of Peace were signed and the British withdrew all troops, that the United States had won independence. The struggle for independence was not quick and it was not easy. It was 8 years of hard struggle until the war was over.

The fireworks displays during July 4th are spectacular in their beauty of color and sound. They should be a reminder to all of us that they were the frightening sights and sound of cannon, rocket and musket fire during the Revolutionary War, and all wars that followed to keep this Nation alive. What we find amazing and beautiful, the Colonist feared, as they brought death and destruction on the land. The freedom we enjoy was not free; it was paid for in blood and life, on both sides of the battle.

It was not until 1787 that the U.S. Constitution was signed but was not adopted until 1788 when, the last state, New Hampshire ratified it, five years after the end of war. The United States was a long time coming into being. The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended, in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors.

In the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention: A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” –Benjamin Franklin, his motto

Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”
–Benjamin Franklin

In closing, Red Skelton will give us his tribute to the United States of America.

I hope and pray we can keep the Republic.

Special thanks to my Dad for guest posting today!


Shay said...

I loved hearing about the history behind Independence Day. I knew it came about as part of becoming an independently governed country but had no idea of the rest of it. Thanks for guest posting Mr. Elizabeth's Dad !

Linda at LRDesignsQuilting said...

Well, said! Thank you!

Jennifer Lovell said...

Elizabeth and Papa, THANK YOU so much for this post. I will never think of fireworks the same again. I had no idea so many years were fought in battle to go along with the signing of that document, and I had naively thought that the 4th of July was the end of it all. I'm so grateful that I have a better idea now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!