Summary: True freedom comes in knowing Jesus Christ and doing His will.
Thus may the 4th of July, that glorious and ever memorable day, be celebrated through America, by the sons of freedom, from age to age till time shall be no more. Amen, and amen. Virginia Gazette, July 18, 1777
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 for evermore.
(John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776 (referring to the day before, when the resolution for independence was passed)
Adams’ words were prescient, even though he was off by two days. As the news spread, celebrations began immediately. In that first year they featured readings of the Declaration of Independence in public places, accompanied by the firing of muskets and cannon. The statue of King George in New York was torn down and its lead turned into bullets. Everywhere were military parades, bells ringing, toasts, fireworks, music and "loud huzzas." In 1781, the legislature of Massachusetts became the first to officially designate the Fourth of July as a holiday commemorating the birth of independence; in 1783 — the year the Revolutionary War formally ended — the governor of North Carolina followed suit.
Nowadays, celebrations include such all-American activities as picnics and barbecues (featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, potato salad and apple pie), baseball games, races and contests, parades with marching bands and Revolutionary War-era costumes, reenactments of historical events, concerts featuring patriotic songs, fireworks at dusk, and more.
All of this began 232 years ago with the words,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands, which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
With those words resounding through out the centuries we find ourselves in a church celebrating the Fourth of July free from persecution, free from those that would take away our right to worship. These men sought to throw off the yoke of tyranny from a distant ruler.
There are tyrants today. They all look different but have the same agenda. The name could be Kim Jung Il, Akmdenejhad, or Hugo Chavez but they all desire to enslave and subjugate the population of their countries to bring themselves more power, status, and comfort without effort on their part.