How Now Should We Celebrate?
By Scott McLin
With the 4th of July come and gone, many of us likely attended family reunions, BBQs or parades and firework displays.
As we gathered for this national celebration, I wonder if folks really know why we celebrate the Forth of July? A few years back, while in attendance at a local 4th Of July BBQ, I decided to pose the question “Why do you think we celebrate the 4th of July?”
The answer’s were shocking to me!
Several folks weren’t exactly sure and others stated that it had something to do with World War II. Someone finally answered, “we are celebrating our Independence!” I quickly asked, “Our independence from who?”
Again the answers varied from not knowing at all, to thinking it had to do with WW II and Germany. My son walked into the conversation and answered, “We celebrate our Independence from England, the Declaration of Independence was signed on the 4th Of July.” He gave a answer that doesn’t seem to be taught in school these days if I were to judge by the other answers from the group.
To this day, I question how you can be a American and not know why we celebrate our Independence on the 4th of July. Some folks think, “Why should I know or care?” Or they act is if something that happened 235 years ago doesn’t really affect them today. How can we know where we are heading as a nation if we don’t know where we came from? Is it any wonder our country is adrift?
I think its time to start a new 4th Of July tradition by reading the Declaration Of Independence at our family gatherings and natioanal celebrations. It shouldn’t really take all that long to read. The total length of the Declaration of Independence is just under 1,400 words. About 400 words spell out the essence of the principles and beliefs upon which the United States was founded. These 400 words are split equally between the opening and the closing. The other 1000 words appear in the middle of the document and outline over 25 abuses of King George III over a period of 10 years.
I think it is our duty as Americans to have a clear understanding of how and why our country was founded. As we gain a better understanding of our founding and founding documents, we can better understand what it means to be Americans, the freedoms we have and the direction of our country as we find it today.
As the 4th of July is celebrated annually to remind us of how and why we are Americans, our Pledge of Allegiance is also meant to remind us of this history. I am sure you all know our Pledge by heart but I contend that if we forget or ignore the reasons we are American’s our Pledge Of Allegiance might resemble the following pledge:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Socialist States of America, and to the government for which it stands, one collective, with social justice for some but not for all.