For more than two centuries Americans have been celebrating our country’s day of independence on the 4th of July. According to one prominent founding father, this is not the day we should be celebrating:
July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his beloved wife and confidant, Abigail Adams:
“Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater, perhaps, never was nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony; ‘that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States.’ You will see in a few days a declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution…
“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 solemized [sic] 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.
You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not.”
Ravishing rays of light and glory. May we all experience that this Summer.
Happy Independence Day!