+First off: the popsicle I'm eating right now tastes like Skittles!!!
+Now. Back to the purpose.
I wanted to post this on the actual July 4th, but we were busy all day with family stuff and b-b-q's and fireworks and such. So this will have to do.
Firstly, a few random things that happened on this day in history:
_In 1776 - The Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence.
_In 1802 - The U.S. Military Academy opens at West Point, New York.
_In 1826 - John Adams, age ninety, and Thomas Jefferson, age eighty-three, die. (John Adam's last words were asking after is best friend: "Is Jefferson yet alive?" And Jefferson's last words were "Is it The Fourth?" as if he were just holding on for this day so he could die peacefully.)
_In 1959 - A forty-ninth star is added to the flag to represent the new state of Alaska.
_In 1960 - A fiftieth star is added to the flag to represent the new state of Hawaii.
+"On July 4th, 1776, delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence. The men who issued that famous document realized they were signing their own death warrants, since the British would consider them traitors. Many suffered hardship during the Revolutionary War." -The American Patriot's Almanac.
"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." -The Declaration of Independence.
When I imagine this scene I don't imagine thunderous applause as we often do these days upon hearing this last line of The Declaration. I imagine a solemn gathering, contemplative, searching their souls to find if they were really willing to risk all for this thing called Freedom. So many would suffer, and suffer hard. So many would lost all they had, family, friends, property, life. My favorite story is of one of the signers who's two sons were captured by the British. The British, holding his sons hostage, arranged for a meeting with this signer. They told him that if he signed a paper denouncing The Declaration and the patriots cause that they would let his sons go. But if he refused to sign, they would put his sons to death. He chose, in the end, to stay loyal to his cause and to what he knew to be right and willingly sacrificed his sons for liberty and justice.
I have been blessed to have been raised by parents, specifically my father, who taught me to be a patriot and to love this country with all my heart. America is not just a place to me. It's a symbol. A symbol for good in a world that is afflicted by turmoil. My heart belongs to this land. I am eternally grateful to those men who did give ALL for this land and people that I love. All the sacrifices that were made JUST FOR ME. So that I could live the way I do and believe the way I do. I know The Founding Fathers were inspired men to were prompted by God to do the things they did, and that they were upheld by that same God through all their numerous trials and hardships. They were truly martyrs. I am grateful for the trust they put in their Heavenly Father and that they listened to His words.
Nothing this great could happen by accident. God's hand is in all things. It was then, it is now, and it will be forever. I only pray that we will be just as willing and they to follow His guidance. I pray for our leaders to follow the examples of our first leaders and continue to put their trust in God. I know that as long as we do this all will be right.
"GOD BLESS AMERICA, LAND THAT I LOVE!"
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of The United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." -The Pledge of Allegiance.
"That this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." -The Gettysburg Address.