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The Fourth of July is just a date. It is nothing but the technical name for the day stuck between July 3rd and July 5th. I suppose the date is more than satisfactory for fireworks and barbecues, but that’s not what the day is about. Doesn’t the day which celebrates our independence, our freedom, and the very essence of what it means to be American deserve a more distinguished name? Whatever happened to “Independence Day?”
On July 4, 1776, the delegates of the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, and it became the day in which we celebrate the birth of American independence. Our founding fathers knew that they were risking everything to ensure a future of independence for America and the its people. In fact, the final sentence of the Declaration, they make it clear that they know what is on the line, saying “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
This was not just a rhetorical flourish. Of the 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, two became presidents of the United States. Some became vice presidents, senators, or governors. Nine died during the revolution, five were captured by the British, eighteen had their homes burnt or looted, two were wounded in battle, and two others had their sons killed or captured in the war. These were not empty words for our founding fathers, they were prepared to sacrifice and they did.
For what they risked, we should commemorate the day with more than just a date. We should respect the day a name that gives it the respect and significance it deserves. Let’s forget about this “fourth of July” nonsense, and concentrate on calling it “Independence Day.”