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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for evermore.
-- John Adams
Our nation absolved allegiance from the British Crown in order to rule itself on July 4th, 1776 by issuing the Declaration of Independence.
This event makes every Fourth of July special. Each Fourth of July marks one more year that this nation has remained free. And today, we've reached 233 years now.
Let us all contemplate how wonderful liberty is. Let us all appreciate our freedom by learning about where it came from in the first place.
Let us be grateful for all servicemen and servicewomen who sacrifice and join our all-volunteer military so that our freedom is protected.
Be grateful for the democratic process and our elected officials who participate in this great political experiment. And be grateful for our justice system. Even with the flaws and frustrations of our legal system, we could be worse off.
And be grateful that we can complain to our elected officials and even poke fun at them when it suits us, because we have freedom of speech and expression.
And, thank your God, should you believe in him (or her) -- exercise your freedom of religious expression.
And if you are a non-believer, breath in the fresh air of freedom because you may exercise your freedom of personal expression and freedom of any sort of religious oppression.
Think of how ancient Greece and Rome once stood as beacons of light to the rest of civilization. Then consider how these empires fell and plunged the world into the Dark Ages. Consider the events which characterized the Dark Ages, then think on the Age of Enlightenment and how it emerged from that period of darkness. Consider how great minds, great discoveries, and great words of expression re-kindled the flame that illuminated the dark world once again.
Know that liberty is the cornerstone of enlightenment; Liberty enlightens the world.
Think on the original name of our great Statue of Liberty. Consider how it was a gift from the French who helped us during our Revolution. Then take time to contemplate the French's role in the Enlightenment era. And take time to think about how a French sculptor took symbols from the best of world civilization and embodied them in our greatest monument of freedom -- a token given to our country to celebrate it's centennial birthday.
Celebrate this day. Eat some potato salad and barbecue. And if your vegan, eat some barbecue tofu in honor of this day.
If you had to work today, I hope you can still take time to celebrate. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your freedom -- even if you have to take a rain check and celebrate tomorrow.