Posted by: Jim E | June 29, 2011

July 4th…Independence Day…A Time To Celebrate…

This post was first used one year ago in 2010…I thought I would post it again…with a few edits…enjoy it and enjoy 2011 Independence Day…

The 4th of July is on a Sunday this year…something about that seems right…this country was founded with God as it’s center and with the freedom He gives…and although there are many who dispute this…they are basically fools…anyone who has read any of the documents of the time would see that right off…so having July 4th fall on Sunday, it’s a good thing…

John Adams was one of our founding fathers and signer of the Declaration of Independence…it was signed by him and many others in Philadelphia on July 2…the next day, July 3, 1776 he wrote his famous letter to his wife Abigail…on what his thoughts were about celebrating the Fourth of July…(the Continental Congress adopted it on July 4, 1776)…the following is the text of the letter with his original spellings: (please read it all)

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 Shew, 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.

Writing that letter was an act of celebration…but the letter also acknowledged that this new nation was at war with the British Empire…

I and my family will be celebrating this holiday with thanksgiving and acknowledging the blessing it is to be an American…we have put out the flags…and are honored to do it…

We are in a time of great trouble and distress…with most of our great values as a country are being assailed…I for one am committed to stand for those basic values and beliefs…and speak out when they are attacked…our politicians need to hear from us more and more…these are dangerous times for our freedoms…I just heard one of our politicians say we need to protect freedom of worship (not freedom of religion)…those are two different things, the first amendment to the Constitution guarantees it so …we will not hide…nor sit and watch our freedoms taken away…

So when I remember John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both signers of the Declaration of Independence…both presidents…both founding fathers…both believers in this great experiment of Liberty…I remember also their lives…political enemies…but later in life dear friends…exchanging many letters…

Let me tell you a wonderful and true story…it was July 4, 1826…the country was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence…50 years before, John Adams asked Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence…(and rarely did they agree on anything again…they settle accounts later in life but in between things were very rocky)…but by this 50th anniversary they had become good friends…now follow the transcript from an American Experience program, John and Abigail Adams:

Narrator: the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence dawned warm and dry up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

What happened that day seemed more like poetry than history.

David McCullough, Historian: It was far beyond anything anyone could conceive of. And people at that time, very understandably, took it to mean that the hand of God was truly involved with the destinies of the United States of America.

Narrator: At Monticello that morning, Thomas Jefferson, age eighty-three, willed himself to stay alive.

Joseph Ellis, Historian: He’s murmuring things that nobody can understand, and then his slave, Burwell, understands that he means; shift my pillow. And then he mutters, “Is it the fourth?”…meaning: is it the fourth of July? Jefferson wants to die on schedule.

Narrator: Thomas Jefferson died at about one in the afternoon while, in the valley below, church bells rang in celebration of Independence Day.

At Quincy, the roar of cannon had begun early that morning.

Joseph Ellis, Historian: Adams has gotten up fit as a fiddle, no long, lingering illnesses. But he starts to fail just about the time that Jefferson dies.

Narrator: In the afternoon, a brief thunderstorm rolled in across the neighboring marshes.

Adams was having difficulty breathing. But even at 91, his mind was clear. “It is a great day.” he said. “It is a good day.”

Joseph Ellis, Historian: They take him downstairs, and he dies about 4:30 in the afternoon. And his last words are, “Thomas Jefferson still lives,” which in fact was not correct. But it’s poignant. His last thought were of Jefferson. He was a good friend.

David McCullough, Historian: when he was lying there dying, thinking of Jefferson, the cannon and rifle fire and firecrackers were all booming in the distance, celebrating the Declaration of Independence. Now, if you…if you did that in a movie, somebody would say, “Oh, that’s too much. You know. Things like that don’t happen in real life.” It did happen in real life, again and again, through that whole amazing life.

I hope you caught it, a quote by David McCullough, concerning the story of these two great men dying the same day…the Fourth of July…“It was far beyond anything anyone could conceive of. And people at that time, very understandably, took it to mean that the hand of God was truly involved with the destinies of the United States of America”…

Well…I believe it today…a shining city upon a hill…blessed by God…we must never forget Who controls people in powerful places…in their arrogance they may see it another way…to their peril…

So with “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty”…my prayer is: God Bless the United States of America!!!…and click on this to hear America the Beautiful… 01 – America the Beautiful

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Responses

  1. The story of Adams and Jefferson is one of my favorites from our country’s history. Amazing men who lived in an amazing time!

    • As David McCullough mentioned in the program…it is almost unbelievable that it happened…but it did…thanks…


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