Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, USA!

Today is our 234th birthday as a free nation. One nation. Under God. The United States of America. We celebrate with parades and fireworks and parties and all kinds of festivities. We certainly have fun with the 4th of July, yet we must remember to also take time to be thankful for exactly why we are celebrating this day -- Independence Day. We are so blessed.

Because I find this interesting, I want to share with you what John Adams, Vice President under George Washington and then President after him, said in a letter to his wife, Abigail:

"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 Shews, 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." (The Book of Abigail and John: Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, Harvard University Press, 1975, 142)

Interesting, is it not? Our family celebrates each year with a big party on the Saturday before the 4th. Food, fireworks, family, friends, fun times. This year was no exception. Historically, the day was almost always observed and celebrated on July 4th. An exception was in 1779, when the 4th fell on a Sunday, and the holiday was celebrated on Monday, the 5th. Do you know why?

In 1791, the 4th of July Observance was first recorded as Independence Day. Do you know anything about that? If so, please share your history knowledge with the rest of us.

The United States Congress make July 4th an unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870. Is that still the case?

There are soooo many interesting facts and events related to July 4th. Most importantly is what the day represents for us as a nation. My hope is that while participating in all of our various celebrations this past weekend, we as Americans all remembered to take the time to appreciate why we are here celebrating.

Back to us and our celebration, I started the day yesterday heading to march (ride) in a local Independence Day parade to honor veterans with my friend, the Mistress of Mayhem. We "Hatted" ladies certainly bring the fun with us wherever we go.

Next I headed home to meet up with my guys to finish getting ready for our annual party. This year was smaller than in previous years, yet there were quite a lot of events planned for the same night. No worries, though. If you know us, you know that we have fun no matter what. Hehe. Life is too good not to enjoy it.

With a few dozen friends, we ate, swam, took the boat out on the lake, ate more, shot off fireworks, ate more, visited for a while, and said, "Good night," to our last guests at about a quarter to one this morning. I do not even remember going to sleep, so it must have been quickly. Hehe.

Now it is actually the 4th. After a busy weekend of observances and festivities, I am looking forward to a relaxing evening with my guys. Happy Independence Day, My Friends, and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

1 comment: