Each year we celebrate Independence Day with picnics, barbecues, beach parties, and fireworks. Humor writer Erma Bombeck once said, “You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.”
The United States is a wonderfully diverse nation where we enjoy the liberties of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. But to really extract the real meaning of Independence Day, it’s crucial that we take a moment and remind ourselves how it came about and what sacrificial journey was endured so that could get to this place.
From the Battle at Lexington and Concord in 1775 until George Washington bid a final farewell to his troops in 1783, America’s fight for independence from Britain was a long and arduous one. More than 25,000 men and women gave their lives in this battle with more than 25,000 who were wounded.
It’s truly unimaginable to comprehend how deeply these people loved their country and the freedoms for which they laid down their lives. If only they could know what their sacrifices led to that help shape this country and the rest of the world.
On July 4th, 1776, we claimed our independence from British rule. Since then, we have endured world wars, conflicts and police actions to maintain the freedom we enjoy. The wars, battles and patriots who fought for freedom are depicted in movies and history books and memorialized throughout the country.
We wave the American Flag symbolically and travel to Washington, D.C. to capture snapshots of the history of this great nation we call home, but the journey for freedom is ongoing and we are surrounded by symbols of freedom every day. We have so much for which to remain grateful. To those who began the pursuit of our freedom and to those who continue in the pursuit, let’s say a collective “thank you.”