Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day.  Yes, today.  July 2.

Wait… I’m confused.  I thought it was July 4.

So… Here’s a little history lesson and a little more.

On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee from Virginia proposed this resolution to the 2nd Continental Congress.  Lee’s resolution declared:

“That these United Colonies are, and of right out to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; that measures should be immediately taken for procuring the assistance of foreign powers, and a Confederation be formed to bind the colonies more closely together.”

The 2nd Continental Congress wanted this resolution to pass on a unanimous decision and knew there were a few delagates that were not quite ready to agree to this, but they knew they would be soon.  On July 1, 1776, the Second Continental Congress re-conviened to debate Lee’s resolution and on July 2, 1776, the resolution was unanimously approved (New York abstained from the vote, but later got full support from their constituents), making the 13 colonies free from the rule of England and thus beginning a new nation.

On July 3, John Adams wrote his wife Abigail regarding the events of the previous days.  In his letter, John Adams wrote

“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.”

Over the next two days they refined an address that explained to the colonists and to England why they had done this and it was completed and approved on July 4th.  This address is our Declaration of Independence.  Over the course of the next few weeks, the members of the Continental Congress would sign this declaration with the last signature being place on August 2, 1776.  So why do we celebrate on July 4th and not July 2nd?  Well… this was something even John Adams and his peers could not agree on, so I certainly am not going to solve that mystery today.

As we celebrate this anniversary of our nation’s independence and the beginnings of our great nation, let us not forget why we are a great nation.  I have heard and have said that America is great because of its people.  But that is not really true.  America is great because it is a nation built on a foundation of faith and Godly principles.  It was built by people that trusted in God.  When we begin… as we have over the last several years… to rely on our own strength and goodness as a nation and a people, we begin to crumble as a nation and a society and our values and very foundation become weak.  When we maintain that our strength comes from God, instead of “we the people”, then our nation will become the great nation it once was.

So this year, lets remember that this holiday is more than just another day off work.  It is more than the “illuminations” or fireworks and getting to blow stuff up (although that is something I look forward to).  Let us remember that this nation is great because of God and let us take time for those “solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty”, the real reason we are free.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17

Happy Independence Day
July 2, 1776


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