On Wednesday of next week, America will be celebrating the Fourth of July. Like so many other holidays we celebrate the day without really understanding why we are celebrating. Americans will eat a lot of hotdogs, watermelons will be in abundance, and fried chicken. I don’t imagine has ever missed a picnic and surely home made ice cream must be a part of our Fourth of July celebration. Fireworks will be in abundance, but let me remind you that the counties in which this article will be printed remains under a burn ban and the shooting of fireworks could get us in legal trouble.
Why do we celebrate July 4th? On July 4, 1776, “The Declaration of Independence” authored by Thomas Jefferson was passed by the Congress and outlined the reasons the American Colonies were declaring themselves a free and independent Nation. From reading through the pages of history I feel certain that Great Britain hardly expected this kind of action from the colonies. The colonies had warned Great Britain of bold action if the colonies were not treated better, but the colonies were ill prepared to take on a powerful nation like Great Britain. They were not prepared at all to take on the English Navy and were really not equipped to fight a ground war.
The one thing the colonies had that would become their greatest asset was sheer determination. They were tired of being persecuted by the Mother Country and the “Declaration of Independence” outlines their grievances in beautiful language.
A reading of the Declaration outlines their grievances. The grievances were addressed to the King of England. Some of the complaints were: The King had made Judges in the colonies dependent on His will alone; He kept a standing army without the consent of the colonial legislature; He had cut off trade by the colonies with the rest of the world; The King had imposed taxes on the colonies without their consent.
The Declaration goes on to say that every means possible had been made to address these issues with the King to no avail. Because of these injustices the Declaration states: “These United Colonies are, and of Right ought 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.” The wording of the Declaration clearly indicates that the colonies were determined to be free and independent from Great Britain and anyone else.
As we enjoy the Fourth of July let us give thanks to our Creator for those brave men who were willing to do anything necessary to obtain Freedom.
If President Ronald Reagan was alive, he, no doubt, would encourage all of us to fly the American Flag with pride and to give thanks to Almighty God for our Freedom. Let’s make this more than just a time of picnics and fun and include a celebration of the Freedom we enjoy today. I am truly happy to be a descendant of one of those brave men who fought for Freedom.
Billy McCord is a retired school administrator and an Elder in the United Methodist Church. He is Pastor of the Pittsboro and Shady Grove UM Churches in Calhoun County. He is a member of the Calhoun County School Board. Contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org