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Never forget the grassroots of Independence Day

Fourth of July fireworks. (Erik Drost/WikiCommons)
July 04, 2018

On July Fourth, Americans can proudly celebrate 244 years of independence from when the 13 colonies claimed their independence from England in 1776.

This would later lead to the creation of the United States of America.

While the nation was in turmoil, the colonies convened a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776 and on June 7, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution with the famous words: “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

While it didn’t happen right away, Lee’s words were the foundation of the formal Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration was drafted by a committee of five but the final say came from Thomas Jefferson, who only made some minor changes.

The final revision of the Declaration started on July 1 and continued through all of July 3 and into the late afternoon of July 4 by the Continental Congress.

The Declaration was officially adopted on July 4, hence Independence Day.

Of the 13 colonies, nine voted in favor of the Declaration; two, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, voted No; Delaware was undecided and New York abstained.

John Hancock, who was President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence.

It is said that John Hancock’s signed his name “with a great flourish” so England’s “King George can read that without spectacles.”

Today, the original copy of the Declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and July 4 has been designated a national holiday to commemorate the day the United States laid down its claim to be a free and independent nation.

While Independence Day actually celebrates a moment in history that involved our government, not our military, some people wonder why people celebrate our military on this day.

The truth behind that is relatively clear: July Fourth is about patriotism and love of this country, its freedoms and its flag, which the U.S. Armed Forces protect and defend.

When President Trump, and all U.S. leaders who preceded him, make decisions regarding this great country, they do so with the strength of our military behind their words, whether those words are spoken or silent. This is why the military is also honored, celebrated and remembered on July Fourth.