Fourth of July is really Independence Day.
Many don’t realize that seemingly obvious statement.
All too often, the only consideration given to the annual holiday, on July 4, is that it’s a day off from work and a time for shooting firecrackers. Some think about a picnic, the
parade and a special night fireworks show, but less frequently each year do people express knowledge and appreciation for the reason for the celebration.
The most important national holiday in the United States celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It declared that the Thirteen United States of America, previously colonies, were formally free and independent states, not subject to the government of Great Britain.
Second paragraph, and most meaningful, of the Declaration, has often been a requirement for memorization in high school history and government classes. It is worthy of repeating: “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.”
As indicated in Galatians 5:1: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
In St. John 11:25, eternal life and happiness are likewise guaranteed by Jesus: “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” For liberty, Jesus, in St. Luke 6:31, insisted: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” That’s the Golden Rule.
Most popular song for Independence Day celebrations should be The Star Spangled Banner. Coincidently, music to this famous piece was composed in 1777, by John Stafford Smith, but the words were added by Francis Scott Key in 1814, as he was inspired by the sight of the U.S. flag at Fort McHenry, withstanding a nightlong bombardment from an offshore British warship. It became the National Anthem when signed into law by President Herbert Hoover in 1931.
However,America the Beautiful was almost chosen as the National Anthem. Appropriately, we should sing that as well:
“God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night, with the light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam. God bless America, my home sweet home.”