To celebrate our nation's birthday, I want to share with all of you the immortal words of John Adams, as written in a letter to his wife, Abigail Smith Adams.
But the Day is past. 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, Bonfire 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.
You quite often see the first paragraph quoted, but not the second, which I think is perhaps the most powerful of all. Over on GayPatriot, there's been a bit of talk about "rediscovering" American history -- a talk which I think is long overdue.
The miracle of the American Revolution and of American history as a whole is that it was carried out, not by gods and demigods, but by mere mortals like ourselves -- people who quarreled, had personal problems, doubted themselves, worried about money, had trouble balancing work and family life -- but, despite all of that, maintained their devotion to a goal higher than themselves. Too often, history is taught as a remote subject, a topic in which the characters are, like their memorials and monuments, larger than life, cast in white marble, and almost inhuman -- which ignores the core message of it, and especially OUR history.
Finally, on this day, I would leave you with what seems to be a surprise -- a request that you watch and listen to Martina McBride's video for her song, Independence Day (click on the link for "Independence Day (full length)").
This is a powerful and intense song, and after you view it, you may wonder why I've asked you to do this on a day of celebration. I ask this because the beauty of the United States is not only our freedom to do as we please, but our freedom to do as would please and help others. To borrow from the song, "be about when time runs out" and never "look the other way".
Happy birthday, America!