My favorite holiday is Independence Day. On this day, we celebrate the founding principles of our nation, those principles that are the bedrock of our government, the denial of which caused us to separate from the United Kingdom.
On this day we do not celebrate the fact that we’ve reached the fourth day of the seventh month, yet most people refer to this day as the “4th of July”. No other holiday receives this same treatment. We don’t call refer to the 4th Thursday in November, the first Monday in September or The 1st of January, yet Independence Day is known across this nation as the “4th of July.” I haven’t always called this holiday Independence Day, but since I realized its importance and meaning, I’ve tried to use its proper name.
Every Independence Day, the newspaper in my hometown publishes a special edition on the cover of which is printed the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson’s document is a masterpiece of clarity, stating in a factual matter the reasons the founders felt it necessary to change the form of government that had been established in the colonies. There is no malice expressed towards the British people, only a factual statement of what had had been done by the crown and why these actions compelled separation.
Independence Day is a day to celebrate the ideals of the United States and to take a hard look at whether we’re living up to them. It deserves to be called by its proper name, not just by where it falls in the year. Today, I urge you to celebrate the independence of our nation, the independence of spirit that is inherent in our its people, and the fact that our government is based upon consent of the governed.
While today is certainly the 4th day of the seventh month, it is so much more than that. Please remember that we are privileged and blessed to live in the United States. And don’t forget to wish your family, friends, and neighbors a happy Independence Day.