The Fourth of July brings to mind barbeques with family and friends, fireworks and best of all the celebration of the birth of our country.
Of course, in Western Washington, it is also the day before the Pacific Northwest’s summer actually begins.
This July 4th my family and I not only get to celebrate with friends but we also get to go to a wedding reception of a friend’s son. Whenever I tell people we are going to a wedding reception on the fourth I get this look and they say, “A wedding on the 4th of July?” However, once I explain that the groom is a new member of the United States Army and this is the week he has to get married, a smile comes to their face.
Their understanding and appreciation of the sacrifice this young man is making is obvious and well deserved.
Of course, his sacrifice is not the first for this amazing country and it certainly won’t be the last.
There has been over 200 years of sacrifice to ensure that we continue to keep the freedoms that we enjoy by being citizens of the United States of America.
On July 2, 1776 the Thirteen Colonies officially separated from Great Britain and after a lengthy discussion the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776.
John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States wrote to his wife Abigail on July 2:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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 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 forever more…”
How right he was!
Some interesting trivia about the 4th of July include the fact that both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, signers and American Presidents, died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration.
Also, James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, passed away on July 4, 1831. President Calvin Coolidge (30th President) was born on July 4, 1872.
As we celebrate this year let’s remember all of those who have given their lives, limbs and family members for each of us and our posterities.
Happy Fourth of July!