Jul 1st, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Celebrate Our Independence

Independence Day falls in the middle of the week this year.  No book-ended days off associated with a weekend.  Just one day. Just one day to celebrate, commemorate, dedicate to acknowledging this antique holiday that still holds lots of significance and symbolism for Americans. Perhaps our attention will be better and more sharply focused on what this holiday, July 4, means.  Perhaps we will give thought to the historical and rich heritage of just why it is that we have such a day at all.

Obviously, the day is set aside to mark independence of the colonies from the English throne.  The declaration was written by five notables, who had participated in drafting the Declaration of Independence.  Of those, John Adams had insisted upon July 2 as the appropriate date for marking recognition of Independence.  However, the date of July 4 prevailed.  Thomas Jefferson had advocated for that date.  Fifty years from the date of its inception, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams passed away on July 4.

Remember What We are Celebrating

The day would not become a national paid holiday for federal workers until 1941.  Over the years the character and nature of July 4 celebrations has seen many changes in the ways it is marked.  This year’s celebration, falling in an election year and with the back drop of so many national events and episodes astir, there may likely be even more variety in how the occasion is celebrated.

Whatever the ways chosen to call attention to the meaning and significance of this day, it deserves being set aside as its own special time, marking the unique qualities of a democracy, whose birthday and those who midwifed that birth, need to be especially recalled, lauded and remembered for having given us a heritage well worth our celebrating.

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