Today is Independence Day, and most of us will be celebrating with family and friends.
If I were a betting person, I would wager that the majority of us won’t think much about the price some people paid so that we could enjoy picnics, cookouts and parades.
Would you allow me to detour for a moment? Let’s step outside the box and consider why we’re celebrating in the first place.
Colonies of settlers was struggling in the years prior to 1776. They were being heavily taxed for good shipping from England, the mother country, yet they weren’t allowed to have a say in the government of that same land. “Taxation without representation” became their battle cry.
And so, brave men, who put their lives and their personal fortunes on the line, made a daring plan. They would break free from the yoke of Great Britain’s unreasonable restraints and form a new government based upon, among other things, free enterprise and representation in government.
Who were these 56 men? Not wild-eyed radicals, but educated, God-fearing men. They were merchants, gentlemen farmers, physicians, a minister, and many were lawyers. The Declaration of Independence is a masterpiece of human thought.
And then there were those who fought from behind rocks and trees in the Revolutionary War, from foxholes and trenches on frozen ground in subsequent wars in Europe. They were farm boys, factory workers, educated people—your ancestors and mine. Wives and children became widows and fatherless because these men paid the ultimate sacrifice. They wanted us to be free.
If you think our flag is just a piece of cloth, and you can’t understand why old men watching parades get teary-eyed when the flag passes by while young people yawn and look bored, well, perhaps those old men are remembering how they underwent extreme privation so those of us living now could enjoy cookouts, fireworks and parades. It’s all about sacrifice.
If you are a veteran, may you enjoy a most blessed Independence Day. Many thanks for your sacrifice.
Have any thoughts about Independence Day? Feel free to comment below.