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Happy Fourth of July – America declared its independence 244 years ago today

Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets over Mount Rushmore during a Salute to America celebration July 3, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cody Hendrix)
July 04, 2020

Today, July 4, is Independence Day. It is the 244th anniversary of when our great nation declared its independence from Britain.

The Continental Congress in 1776 declared that the 13 original American colonies would no longer be subordinate to the British crown, and Congress signed the Declaration of Independence stating that they were now free and independent.

While the Continental Congress had voted for independence on July 2, it was not declared until two days later, on July 4, 1776.

The Declaration of Independence is the famous document that announced the 13 colonies would hereby be independent states not under British rule.

The document was written by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, and it was later signed by the 56 delegates of the Second Continental Congress.

The nation’s military branches honored the holiday with an array of social media posts.

Wishing you a safe and happy #IndependenceDay! Today we salute our service members who have protected our freedom & the nation for 244 years,” tweeted the Department of Defense.

On #IndependenceDay, I’m grateful for our nation, its laws and liberties, and the devotion of the men and women who guard the torch of freedom,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper tweeted.

The U.S. Air Force tweeted, “On July 4, 1776, 56 men signed a document declaring their views and beliefs on how people should be governed. It was the day singled out to mark the event of the United States establishing itself as a nation — what became our Independence Day.”

The U.S. Navy tweeted, “Dear United States of America, We’ve been at your ready since before the ink dried on the #DeclarationOfIndependence. Happy 244th Birthday! #4thOfJuly Sincerely, U.S. Navy.”

The Joint Chiefs of Staff tweeted, “This #IndependenceDay, let us remember those who fought & died for our nation’s independence. All of us in uniform are willing to die for the idea that is America & for the values upon which our nation is founded: life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Happy #4thofJuly!”

President Trump also issued a presidential message honoring Independence Day. Here is the full text:

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the United States Declaration of Independence in what is now known as Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  In taking this historic step, the Congress proclaimed “these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.”  Today, we celebrate our Nation’s independence and the vision of our Founding Fathers revealed to the world on that fateful day, as well as the countless patriots who continue to ensure that the flames of freedom are never extinguished.

The enduring commitment to the ideals of liberty and justice that have come to define our American spirit stem from our Nation’s founding.  In declaring that our rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” should be safeguarded for posterity and that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” our Founding Fathers launched the American experiment that espoused freedom and democracy over tyranny and monarchy.  Two hundred and forty-four years later, the principles grounded in the Declaration of Independence continue to guide our Nation forward and maintain its standing as a beacon of liberty, prosperity, and opportunity for all.

Over the past months, the American spirit has undoubtedly been tested by many challenges.  Yet, it is in the face of adversity that our country has had some of our proudest moments of triumph.  Today, especially, we are reminded of the extraordinary feats that our Nation has accomplished since its founding nearly 250 years ago.  Together, we must ensure that we live up to the ideals of our Declaration of Independence and do all that we can to protect and preserve the freedoms that make our country the greatest in the world.

The First Lady and I wish each and every American a happy and blessed Fourth of July and proudly join you in celebrating our great Nation.  May God bless the United States of America.