236 Candles

The 4th of July is the day Americans celebrate the anniversary of their declaration of independence from British rule in 1776. It is not the day a peace treaty was signed or the day the last warship flying a Union Jack left its eastern shores. It is instead the day attributed to the action of 56 British subjects (and American colonists) signing their names to a document declaring their independence. It was the culmination of years of dissatisfaction sparked by the desire to determine their own destiny, to be free from oppression and tyranny, and to choose how to govern themselves.

It was not an easy choice for the signers of the Declaration of Independence to make. Their signatures would be a test of the importance of their stand, evidence of their treason. War actually began in 1775, not for independence, but as a revolt against British interference with the constitution of one of the colonies – because of their choice more sacrifice would be required, even more blood would be shed.

Everyone’s independence day begins first with the desire to be free from the influence, control or determination of another. But simply wanting to be independent is not enough. Freedom does not happen without courage and conviction, and the willingness to fight for what one believes.

The 4th of July has become a day to barbeque and watch fireworks. I hope it is also a day to truly remember and celebrate independence – won by the bravery of our forefathers who stood their ground and fought, and died, for what they believed was right. Americans, and others in the free world, still fight and die for that, and for the rights of others to be free.

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Happy 236th Birthday, USA.

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