Always keep in mind true meaning of Independence Day
Independence Day, better known to some people as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday that commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. It’s historically significant because the Continental Congress declared the 13 American colonies no longer were subject to the British monarch.
Let that sink in. In 1776, Britain was a global superpower, and to declare independence took a lot of spunk, to put it lightly.
Of course, the United States had to win the lengthy American Revolutionary War, which it did. So, although Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Americans’ quest for freedom went way beyond that act. Simple signatures don’t always do the trick.
However, Americans have been celebrating Independence Day for years, and, like Christmas, sometimes the true meaning gets lost in all the hoopla. That hoopla, such as fireworks, parades and cookouts, represents a good time for families and communities. That’s fine. They are a fun way for people to get together and have fun, hopefully in a safe manner. But Independence Day means more than sparklers, just as Christmas means more than presents under the tree.
It represents people’s efforts to earn and keep freedom, and that is a struggle that continues to this day. Sometimes the struggles are big, such as the ongoing civil rights movement. Others are smaller and more personal in nature, and just about everybody probably has a story to tell on that front.
However, a nation gaining independence from another nation is pretty big. The quest for freedom is noted on other national holidays, such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Independence Day stands out more, though, because it’s more festive and less contemplative in nature. Again, we love fireworks display and a July 4 parade, with its decorated floats, marching bands and U.S. flags. But people should remember all the sacrifices that went into the celebration, and those sacrifices, in some way or another, continue.