Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Independence Day - Renew the Spirit

As we approach this Independence Day, it is easy for most to lapse into comfortable celebration involving hamburgers, hotdogs, coleslaw, and fireworks. Of course, there is nothing wrong with such celebrations, but it in essence devalues the true meaning and purpose of the holiday.

The Spirit of ’76 has nearly disappeared. On July 3, 1776, just one day after independence was approved (but one day prior to the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence), John Adams presciently understood that the anniversary of Independence Day would be marked by “pomp and parade, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forever more.” What is missing today was Adams’ conjoined expectation that “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized. . . .” We have the hamburgers and parades, but any solemnization is trite.

Likewise, most of other civic holidays have become empty gestures and excuses for an extra day off for barbeques or shopping.

The lack of solemnization is deadly – we need to renew our faith in our freedoms and liberty. Without an appropriate understanding of our founding First Principles and history, our freedom is likely to be lost.

To combat this effort, I have initiated a “Patriots Week”, beginning on September 11 and ending on September 17 (the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution), in which schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to celebrate our founding First Principles, history, and historical figures. See or the “notes” to my Facebook page.

This Independence Day, take a few moments to celebrate the true meaning of the day. Even such small gestures as reading the Declaration of Independence with your children, examining the Bill of Rights, watching a patriotic movie, or considering the importance of the Founding Fathers are vital to preserving our freedom. God Bless America.

For more on our founding First Principles and history, visit

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