From the Commander Interest Veterans Network

Happy Independence Day – 4 July 2015

Written by AJ Powell

Many nations around the world celebrate the day they became Independent in one way or another. The holidays may take many shapes and forms, but one thing is for certain… they all have in common the struggle for a free nation.

Today, 4 July 2015, is the national holiday of the birth of the United States of America. Surely an Independence Day known world-wide. But as the fireworks, the cook-outs, and the celebrations go on, not so many understand the true origins of where it all began.

Independence DayFrom the early beginnings of planning the Tea Party, came the Shot Heard Round The World! At the rising of yet another tax against the colonialists, tension grew, and the dream of a new nation was long in the minds and hearts of those living in the New World. On 19 April 1775, the first shots rang out in Concord Massachusetts. Similar engagements amongst colonialists against the oppression of the British crown immediately followed in Lexington, Lincoln, Menotomy, and Cambridge. The American Revolutionary War – the fight for Independence – had begun.

By 1776, Congress had started drafting the legal separation of the 13 Colonies from Great Britian. Their sessions came to a culmination on 2 July 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain’s rule. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4th. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

“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.”

declaration-and-flag-bannerAdams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4th, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2nd, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress…

Many people don’t know that the actual approval date of Independence was two days earlier on the 2nd of July, however, today it matters not… as the rest is history…

So tell us, what do YOU know of the history of the 4th of July?
Share your knowledge in our comments below!

The staff and contributors of The Warfighter Journal wish you all a Happy Independence Day!

Stay Safe Warfighters.

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References:

Ask History (2015). What Was the “Shot Heard Round The World?”. History.com. Retrieved from: http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/what-was-the-shot-heard-round-the-world

Constitutional Facts (2015). The Story of the 4th of July. Oak Hill Publishing Company. Retrieved from: https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/fourth-of-july/

Massachusetts Historical Society (2015). “Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776, ‘Had a Declaration…’”. Adams Family Papers. Masshist.org. Retrieved from: http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/archive/doc?id=L17760703jasecond

Staff writer (July 1, 1917). “How Declaration of Independence was Drafted” (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2009. On the following day, when the formal vote of Congress was taken, the resolutions were approved by twelve Colonies–all except New York. The original Colonies, therefore, became the United States of America on July 2, 1776.

Wikipedia (2015). Battles of Lexington and Concord. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battles_of_Lexington_and_Concord


SOUND OFF!
What are YOUR thoughts?
Let us know in the comments below!

About the author

AJ Powell

AJ is a retired U.S. Army NCO who served in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army. He is a combat veteran, and has participated in contingency operations around the world. AJ is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a focus on Sociology and a degree in Organizational Leadership, and is published in the field of sociology. AJ is an inductive analyst, writer of military and leadership articles, aviator, a certified advanced operational diver, professional mentor and adviser, snowboarder, motorcycle rider, world traveler, and enjoys long distance endurance events.

  • deanbean317

    So many people fail to remember that the “rich white slave owners” who founded our great Nation, put everything on the line…their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. More than just words, if our fight for independence had failed, they would have been stripped of their lands, tried for sedition and hanged as enemies of the Crown. They deserve every honor we can bestow upon them!

    • So many sacrificed so much, and risked everything – including their very lives, their families lives, and all they owned – to make the dream of independence a reality. Today, less than 1% of the total population of the nation still carries on the tradition the nation’s founders started. They sacrifice of their very lives, their families, and in many cases, all they own, to maintain the freedom and independence the majority of the 99% take for granted every day.

      Thank you for your thoughts, Dean.