Independence Day 2019
“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands….”
You know, of course, that this particular form of sedition and cheekiness had been tried before, don’t you? Probably many times. The difference here would be in the outcome of the war the Declaration of Independence begat. History really does remember the winners.
The Declaration was a suicide document that 56 brave souls signed. Had the British won the war (or even the next one) those 56 men would have been summarily executed. That is commitment to a cause. Without question.
Did they make mistakes? Hell yes they did. They most conveniently forgot about 95% of the population of the continent. By the time you count the original inhabitants and the women and slaves and non land owners.
But what they did and what it means in the world today can not be understated. To quote a future President “... brought forth upon this continent a nation conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” It was indeed a monumental act. Never to be forgotten as it seems.
It is, a celebration, in no way a military holiday. It marks the very first day of the idea of a Country that came to be known as “The United States of America”. A radical idea delivered in radical fashion.
Independence Rock, Wyoming. So named because the travelers on the Oregon Trail wanted to be here by the Fourth of July in order to make the rest of the journey before the snow hit the Blue Mountains. Photo courtesy of the Author.
There is a personal aspect to me. More than one.
On July 1, 1971 I enlisted in the United States Navy. That was no big deal, my mom’s family had given sons (and now daughters) to every war the country had fought. Yes. EVERY war.
At our family celebration on Independence Day 1971 my Grandfather took me aside and shook my hand. As he did he said these words “I shook the hand of a man that shook the hand of a man that fought in the Revolutionary War.” As much as those words meant to me that day I’d find later that they’d mean more.
You see, the man whose hand he shook was his grandfather (who fought in the Civil War) and the hand of the man who fought in the Revolutionary War was his grandfather.
No matter how you figure it I am the third handshake from the Revolutionary War. Which makes Independence Day important to me personally.
To those of you who celebrate this day I wish you the best.
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