America, home of the free, land of the brave.
Every July 4th, Independence Day, we celebrate our freedom from tyranny by lighting up the black sky with red, white, and blue bursts. We celebrate our independence with family and friends, some thinking about what it must have been for their ancestors to watch the bombs bursting along the American shoreline. Can you imagine the anxiety felt while waiting for sunup to see if the American troops were still there? Additionally, can you imagine the feeling those Americans had once they saw the banner still flying?
Battle torn with every odd against them, there was nothing to say they would last through the night. Those Americans surprised the world at dawn when our banner still waived atop the fortress—proving to the world that we were immovable in our Freedom. That imagery infused our patriotism to our country.
The only problem is that the Fourth of July does not honor this fateful day remembered in our national anthem. Sir Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star Spangled Banner” in early September during the war of 1812. Key’s original manuscript stated this in the last verse: “And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”. It was triumph over tyranny, becoming independent colonies with Freedom created through the brave acts of these new Americans.
July 4, 1776 was not the final battle of the revolutionary war. It was just like any other day for the colonists. English ships were still docked in the harbor, their troops very present, but there was no defeat. The revolutionary war was only a year old and was like any other day in war time.
The events of this day were solemn and private, held in an undisclosed location in the company of a limited number of people. This day became truly noteworthy because it was the date our country’s founding fathers ratified the Declaration of Independence during the Second Continental Congress on July 4,1776.
It was only the second meeting of its kind. The first one being a result of the founding fathers refusal to be taxed without representation in England, seeing it as a form of tyranny. Since the government refused to hear their complaints, the congress met again in 1776 to sign the declaration of their independence from tyranny.
The powerful and courageous efforts of the founding fathers along with each colonist who stood up for Freedom is what we are celebrating every Fourth of July. The blood and bravery of our fathers’ generation made the Declaration of Independence possible. Combine that with the unwavering loyalty of all the sons and daughters that followed, and we’ve made America the strongest symbol of freedom that the world has ever known. That is a symbol worth celebrating this and every year and a memory worth the focus of every American.
So, as you set off the fireworks, visit with your family and friends, enjoy the splendid reminder of our Independence and continued Freedom, and those who gave their lives defending it. Celebrate that fateful day when a few well-placed votes changed the pages of history forever.
Live Free and be Brave,