Anniversary of our Independence: July 4…or 2?

For our neighbors to the north, Canada, their birth as a nation is celebrated on July 1st, and it is called ‘Canada Day.’ To our immediate south, our Mexican neighbors call their special date ‘Cinco de Mayo,’ which means May fifth. Here in the good old US of A we celebrate July 4th as Independence Day because on this date in 1776, our forebears composed the ‘Declaration of Independence,’ the document by which we proclaimed ourselves to be a sovereign nation, free from the rulership of our mother country, Great Britain. But it wasn’t actally signed until August 7th.

And there is still a controversary among some as to when our independence should really be celebrated. That’s because July 2nd, two days before the drafting of the documeent of freedom, is the true day that the Continental Congress voted for our independence, in essence declaring it.

If you recall, John Hancock signed at the very top in his larger-than-life script. Most people fail to realize that this was because he was the President of the Continental Congress at the time.

But the most important factor about this or any other celebration is not the when, but the why. And that we all know. So happy anniversary, America. And long may you live, and long may we be free.

A reason to celebrate

As I type these words, the temperature outside my door is 103 degrees, and we are in severe drought. On the surface it would appear that I wouldn’t have much to celebrate. But our great country is about to enjoy the 236th anniversary of our independence. Now in spite of the problems we have today, America is still the greatest nation in the world, and I was born here and celebrate my citizenship as an American citizen. The fact that we still have our freedom is a reason to be grateful.

Every day we can look around us, both literally and figuratively, and see many who are not as well off as we. There is an old saying, “I was sad that I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” These is always reason for gladness and celebration. All Americans should rejoice in their rights and freedoms and as this July 4th holiday approaches, greet it with gladness and thanksgiving.