America’s Independence Day 2021

Sunday, July 4th, is the 245th anniversary of America’s declaration (1776) of our pending independence from British rule.  But before that became fact, it would take a painful, punishing, and lengthy military fight (1775-1783) for the brave men and women of those 13 American colonies to achieve our true independence.

We know that the principal author of the Declaration of Independence was Thomas Jefferson.  He is credited with writing the first draft.  Then it was edited by the other members of the five-person committee: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston (history has largely forgotten the latter two members).  Then, following the committee’s edits, it was subject to an additional edit by the various members of the Second Continental Congress, held in Philadelphia.  On behalf of the unanimous consent of America’s 13 original colonies, 56 courageous, freedom-driven members of that second congressional congress signed their names to the finished document/proclamation.  Courageous for simply signing the declaration?  Yes, because the act of placing their signatures on that document was considered by Britain to be, in itself, an act of treason.  Those brave nation-founders literally put their lives on the line(s) to publicly proclaim America’s desire for, and intention to fight to gain, our precious independence.

And that war for our independence was, indeed, not only long, but a costly one as well, both from the standpoint of America’s fledgling, non-robust treasury, and especially so from the standpoint of colonial military killed and wounded.  It’s estimated that at least 6,800 American military members were killed in combat, with another 6,000+ wounded.  Add to that, as many as 17,000 who are said to have perished as a result of disease.  And, in terms of still further loss, of the estimated 20,000 colonial war fighters taken prisoner by the British, likely at least 10,000 (50%) died in prison camps.  By the way, the total population of the 13 colonies during that time was about 2.5-million (Great Britain: 8-million).

As the second paragraph of our completed Declaration stated then, and has continued to do so, through the ages, still now today, with the original wording and intent preserved:

“WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  

Note the statement of equality within.  It took many decades to bring that original wish to fruition, but the intent was in there, and clearly stated from the very beginning.  And the Founders also called upon our Father in Heaven for guidance, as the reigning source of the “Rights” within the national freedom that we sought.   After then, after spelling out, in detail, the numerous specific grievances against the rule of the Crown (i.e., “the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States’), the Declaration concludes:

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, that these United colonies are, and of Right ought to be free, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown…..”

It is important for us to remember, today, the courage it took to proclaim our freedom from one of the most dominant political and military (land and sea) powers on earth at the time. And along with it, the prolonged human sacrifice it took, over a span of eight-years, to bring reality in life to those words on a page.

And thus, a wondrous free nation was born and has survived now for 245-years and counting.  The Declaration of Independence, and the all-out war to make it so, granted us freedom.  The very same freedom that far too many Americans now take so totally for granted.  Like clean air and drinking water, the refreshing air of personal freedom, far too often, goes completely unnoticed and unappreciated.

That precious, irreplaceable gift, provided to us by such tremendous sacrifice, now regrettably gets nary a thought in the lives and minds of most U.S. citizens each day.  And, along with another momentous event, it was that same freedom that, by 1945, 12.2-million brave Americans in uniform (plus countless millions of civilians working here domestically for the war effort) had, at great sacrifice and loss of life, restored to the world, and preserved for us here at home.  And it is our magnificent, modern, powerful, and devoted-to-duty military force of today that continues the honored legacy of defending our nation’s independence and liberty; keeping America safe and secure from any and all externally-initiated harm.

We have been profoundly blessed by God above, by our Founding Fathers, and by so many others, of dedication and valor, to be an independent nation living in precious freedom.  This Independence Day, be ever thankful and proud of all that we have and all that we are.  America is truly a great nation.  In reality, and fact, the very greatest in the world, in so many ways and for so many reasons.  It’s not the land of duck-and-cover, but the home of the brave and, thus, the land of the free.  The land of unequalled opportunity, wisdom, innovation, and earned prosperity.  And so, to all grateful, nation-loving, and patriotic Americans, on Sunday, July 4th, do reflect upon, treasure, and enjoy this 245th anniversary of the lasting Independence of our wondrous United States!