Independence Day July 4th, 2006
Today and every year on July 4th, we Americans celebrate our Independence Day. It's a day of parades, patriotic celebration and family cookouts, often followed by evening fireworks. This holiday has deep roots in our tradition of political freedom, a time there are many speeches extolling our American traditions and values.
If anything (other than hot dogs or other types of food) is associated with the 4th of July, it has to be fireworks. Displays are common in almost every community across the nation. Public celebrations, parades, picnics, barbeques and family get-togethers are common. Many of us choose escape the heat at beaches, pools and other vacation spots.
It's interesting to note that construction of some important public works have begun on Independence Day. The Washington Monument, the Erie Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad all broke ground on July 4.
One of our most erudite Founding Fathers, James Wilson, addressed a Philadelphia assembly on Independence Day in 1788, encouraging his fellow citizens to ratify the proposed Constitution. "What is the object exhibited to our contemplation?" he asked. "A whole people exercising its first and greatest power-performing an act of sovereignty, original and unlimited!"
Our second President, John Adams, stated that this holiday "... 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."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt reminded Americans during those gloomy moments of World War II that July 4 was a symbol of "... the democratic freedom which our citizens claim as their precious birthright."
President George W. Bush issued a traditional proclamation on June 26, 2006. He also spoke outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July 4, 2001, stating that the Declaration of Independence continues to represent "... the standard to which we hold others, and the standard by which we measure ourselves. Our greatest achievements have come when we have lived up to these ideals."
However you choose to celebrate it (right now we're ducking raindrops), have a Happy 4th!
BTW - be sure to check this out:
If you're into fireworks, it's well worth the visit, but be careful!
The lexidium is Independence.