What Is Independence & Why Do We Celebrate The 4th of July?

What is independence and Why Do We Celebrate the 4th of July?

The dictionary describes independence as “the fact or state of being independent.

self-government, self-rule, home rule, separation, self-determination, sovereignty, autonomy, freedom, liberty, “the struggle for national independence”  self-sufficiency, self-reliance, autonomy, freedom, liberty  “he valued his independence.”

So I ask you again. What is independence and why do we celebrate it on the 4th of July?

Independence Day (colloquially the Fourth of July or July 4) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject (and subordinate) to the monarch of Britain, King George III, and were now united, free, and independent states. The Congress had voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2, but it was not declared until July 4.” -Wikipedia

In other words, our nation was formed because men were tired of being ruled by a Tyrant King. One who didn’t have the people or their rights in mind. He also didn’t believe that a person could choose their religion or preach as they saw fit. The people wanted their independence; their ability to make their own decision as individuals, fathers, mothers, men of a community, and eventually of a new country.

However, this was free-thinking, and some, such as King George III, saw these men as radicals, but that didn’t stop the freedom fighters.

Remember, in order to keep our independence and still have laws the constitution of the United States was written on September 17, 1787. This document, written by Christians and presented to the people, allowed freedom of religion and stated that “All men are created equal.” And that our natural rights and freedom originate from God, not the government.

God’s laws always trump men. But, if God’s laws are not being violated, we must obey the law of men. That is as long as that is a just and moral government. The King was not appointed by anyone, and the colonies had no representation in government. Adding that a person couldn’t worship or raise their families based on truth, then, as they did, the people saw it no longer necessary to stay.

A poem of prayer

The decision was final as the people decided to find and create a country which was based on solid ground; on God’s foundation. The King allowed this only because he saw it as a business venture, but for the pilgrims, it gave them the freedom to worship as they pleased. Giving thanks and worshiping was so important that sixty-six days later when the people finally landed they stayed on the boat to pray.  Not just for a minute but for two entire days. They were devoted and wanted to make sure that this new land and new beginning was based on firm moral standards and biblical foundation.

Mans’s need for independence from England and the King was costly. The fifty-three men who signed the Declaration of Independence pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. For many of these fifty-three men, that was the price. They lost their lives, fortunes, even their wives and children, but they never lost their honor. In the end, their Declaration of Independence on that day prevailed. That is the day when, as a nation, we began our fight for independence and freedom.

Freedom, however, doesn’t last unless men and women see freedom as keeping their independence. Our country today is not free as our rights have been slowly, in more recent times, quickly, been eroded, and taken away.

We have our military, but I believe it will take more than “Men At Arms” to keep a country free. It takes the heart of the independent people, the citizens themselves to stand against tyrant lawmakers and leaders within our own country. Ones that try to abuse our constitution and what it stands for. “Evil will abide where good men choose to do nothing.” If you think a nation of free people can’t be taken and ruled, then think again. Idleness promotes evil and gives it a foothold. Look around you and the domino effect that is taking place.

People need to stand as individuals, then uphold their community, which in the end will stabilize our country from the radicals of a different kind that are destroying it. They are the enemy who has chosen to destroy what so many have given their lives to save.

Listen to the heart and passion from John Adams as he wrote to his wife Abagail:

“The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”

“Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.” -Wikipedia

Flag and Freedom

In ending, our Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee not what rights are granted to us by the government but what rights the government shall not take away from us.

Special Notes:

By a remarkable coincidence, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the only two signatories of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as presidents of the United States, both died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration, Jefferson even mentioning the fact. (Only one other signatory, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, survived them, dying in 1832.) Although not a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, James Monroe, another Founding Father who was elected as president, also died on July 4, 1831. He was the third President who died on the anniversary of independence. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, was born on July 4, 1872; so far, he is the only U.S. president to have been born on Independence Day.

To conclude, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights are what Independence means and why we celebrate the 4th of July.

Until next time, live free, Independent and have a healthy week.

Heather Earles
Heather Earles

Heather is married to a retired Special Forces Officer, and they live on a farm with their four children. She is an established author, a stay-at-home mother, and an advocate for healthy living. She publishes a weekly blog and podcast (Herb ‘N Wisdom™) and writes for a local newspaper to aid and inspire others.

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