When was the last time you really took the time to focus on the true meaning of Independence Day? I think about it more and more as the years go on...having a relationship with GOD my Father, the Creator of the Universe, I am reminded that my true freedom is always found in HIM. This is the same thing believed by our Founding Fathers.
King George III was taking away more and more liberties. Samuel Adams wrote, "For government is an ordinance of Heaven, design'd by the all-benevolent Creator, for the general happiness of his rational creature, man." Many people in the colonies were becoming discontented. Taxation without representation. I hear people say that today and they have no real concept of what it means.
So what happened? War. During which, after much struggle and debate:
"In Congress, 4 July 1776. A DECLARATION By the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS assembled."
(better known as the Declaration of Independence)
was written, agreed to and signed.
"When in the Course of human Events...
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
When the document was signed on 2 August 1776, there were some who were not present. Knowing the ramifications, they still chose to sign. Fifty-six men.
In November of 1777, Congress agreed to the Articles of Confederation. It wasn't until 1781 that all states agreed to and signed them. Realizing the many defects of the Federal Government, George Washington pushed for a resolution. Finally, on the second Monday in May 1787, delegates came together in Philadelphia in order to revise the Articles. All were quick to realize that the Articles were so defective that they could not work. Therefore, they set out to create a new Constitution.
On 12 September 1787, the Constitution was sent to the several states for the states to review for ratification. Here's a thought: why isn't that done today? "You'll have to pass the bill to find out what's in it." Sound familiar? If not, you're not paying attention.
In 1814, during the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote a little poem. "Defence at Fort McHenry." This poem was later set to music and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner." You may recognize it as the National Anthem. There is a phrase during a musical crescendo that says, "...and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there." Now, if you know me well, you know that many things tear me up. Every time I sing our National Anthem, it brings tears to my eyes.
Think of the ramifications of that phrase...Francis Scott Key was watching WAR. He may have thought, "I'm watching my friends be killed during this battle! Nobody can survive this bloody battle!" He was listening to the bombs of war. He was seeing the flashes of light from the rockets shooting into the Fort. He was hearing the gun fire and canons booming.
I have never been in war. However, I never watch the fireworks on Independence Day without tears streaming down my face while thanking GOD for the men and women who have fought in wars to obtain and preserve the freedom I enjoy in the United States of America. Still the greatest country in the world.
Join me this Sunday ~ wherever you are ~ in remembering our freedom. Thanking GOD for where HE has placed us.
I personally thank you all who have served or are serving my country defending it's borders and preserving my liberties from tyranny. Thank you to your families for letting you go. What you do, your sacrifice, is immeasurable. Thank you.
On this date, 1Jul10,
Lisa G. Fiedler