On July 4th, We Celebrate Independence Day
Are you ready to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow?
My Burton ancestors made the dream of Independence Day a reality. May Burton fought in the Revolutionary War. While he joins many who built these United States, he is not the only one. Our government stands on the freedoms thousands valiantly protect even today.
Also, your forefathers struggled to live here too. (Unless you are of American Indian descent.) They survived a multitude of obstacles and made a life here.
We must remember the dedicated group of men who sat down together. They signed a document seeking independence in those early days. It forever changed the direction of this great land.
Turn on the television and you’ll understand our differences.
Regardless of the politics, there’s one thing we always agree on: When the chips are down, we come together for the good of the country.
There is another election on the horizon. Rather than address the issues, we find ourselves bombarded with personal diatribes. Ads invade our homes. They raise an issue with nearly everything going on in this great land of ours. I’ll bet you’re beginning to hate them as much as I do.
Those ads miss one critical detail: You and I worked together to protect what we have. That includes the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly.
We love our democracy.
And, we prepare ourselves to fight for it whenever necessary.
Forget political affiliations. Individual politics has nothing to do with our expression of pride on this holiday. We celebrate Independence Day. We dedicate ourselves to die to protect it, should the need arise.
Enjoy some “Fourth Facts” as you prepare to celebrate:
- Remember why we are such a great country.
- Be a little kinder. Be forgiving to those who don’t quite see everything exactly as you do.
- Compromise and understanding allowed us to create these “United States” of America.
Independence Day: Commonly known as the Fourth of July or July Fourth. It is a federal holiday in the United States. We commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, and our independence from Great Britain.Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(United_States) The result was as dramatic as Great Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. That document set the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.
As always, this most American of holidays is marked with red, white and blue flags. We produce fireworks, parades and backyard barbecues. As a result, it’s one of the biggest celebrations in the country each year.
Furthermore, don’t forget there were only two and a half million citizens who made their home in the newly independent nation in 1776. That small band of men and women created a great nation. We owe them our continued allegiance and dedication. Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970. We are so much bigger now.
Fifty-six people signed the Declaration of Independence.
Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston comprised the Committee of Five. This committee drafted the Declaration. Jefferson was the strongest thinker. He was also known as a most eloquent writer. He wrote most of the document.
Most noteworthy of the signers is that these men did not agree on everything as the process began.
- John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, is the first signer. This merchant by trade signed on an entirely blank space. His is the largest and most famous signature — hence the term “John Hancock.” It is still used today as a synonym for signature.
- Benjamin Franklin (age 70) represented Pennsylvania and is the oldest of the signers. Edward Rutledge (age 26), of South Carolina, is recognized as the youngest of the signers.
- Also, two future presidents signed our most treasured document: John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President). Both died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. (July 4, 1826).
- We also know that Robert Livingston, representing New York, served on the Committee of Five to draft the Declaration of Independence. Unfortunately, he was recalled by his state before he could sign it.
Finally, do you recognize any of these founding citizens?
Do you feel the celebration of Independence Day is personal? Can any of the men listed above be found in your family tree?
- Representatives of Georgia in 1776: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and George Walton. Gwinnett County, Ga., Hall County, Ga., and Walton County, Ga. are named for these signers.
- Charles Carroll represented Maryland. He became the last surviving signer of the Declaration. He died in 1832 at the age of 95. Carroll County, Md., is named for him.
- Roger Sherman worked as a land surveyor and lawyer. He represented Connecticut.
- Nelson County, Va. and Wythe County, Va. inherited their names for two of the six signers representing the state of Virginia — Thomas Nelson Jr. and George Wythe.
- Sources: TIGER Shapefiles, the Census Bureau’s geographic database (Place/MCD/County combined “used within name” count), unpublished, 2012 County Business Patterns and Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2013
- Source of these facts
The hope of a nation rests in the integrity and courage of its people.
If you’re curious who my relative was who signed the Declaration of Independence, then I will remove the suspense. I am related through a DNA test to Benjamin Franklin. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Take a minute to read “Free to Be Happy” in Time. The Founding Fathers embodied something much larger than our pursuit of a blissful life in this country. Happiness is earned and carries a different meaning for each new generation of Americans.