The Fourth of July
How does the past affect the present day? Let’s reflect…
The Boston Tea Party, a disagreement over the taxation of tea, ignited the American Revolution in 1773. King George III, of England, was taxing us to death, but would not give us legal representations in spite of our paying the increased tax hike. The final straw came when he taxed us for tea. Animosities from the king erupted over us dumping 342 crates of his overly-taxed tea into the Boston Harbor. Like the king, our people over here began to unite and prepare to fight a war.
On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere was credited with his famous ride warning us of the great peril we were soon to be faced with – the British were coming. The following day, the Battles of Concord and Lexington began and marked the first day of the American Revolution.
The following year, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and a few of our other forefathers composed a document that would declare our freedom from King George III of England. On July 4th, 1776, this document was signed and put into effect. John Hancock, being the first to sign, signed with a large signature stating, “I want to be sure that King George sees it.” Henceforth, this document became known as, The Declaration of Independence.
Patrick Henry, who often spoke on the issues of liberty, believed in our fight. His famous speech that ended in “give me liberty or give me death,” is still an inspiration today. The town’s people also believed in our rights to freedom and showed their support by naming their children Freedom or Liberty.
In the end, once Lord Charles Cornwallis sent his messenger to surrender to General George Washington, and the document of our independence was signed, we celebrated with a display of fireworks. Thirteen rockets were shot into the sky, each one a representation of the 13 colonies. And so it’s been every year for well over 200 years that we give a display of fireworks to show that as a nation, as an independent country, we fought for our freedom and our way of life.
In light of current events, the question begs to be asked, “Will history repeat itself and are we headed for another Revolutionary War?”
Nevertheless, it is still in my heart that each year we should continue to offer this display of fireworks for our country, for those who have died to protect us and our God-given freedoms. It is a symbol of unity to stand tall and proud and continue our fight for a free life with liberty and justice for all.
On a side note, I thought this was pretty interesting: In the days of yore, when we were segregated as Loyalists (those who supported the king) and Patriots (those who supported freedom from English rule), Deborah Sampson dressed in men’s clothing and joined the Continental Army as Robert Shirtliff. She joined in 1782 and was discovered 17 months later, in 1783.
However, the discovery was to her benefit. Not only did she get an honorable discharge from the Army, but she went down in history as the first woman to fight in a war. She brought a new meaning to the term, be all that you can be.