“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.”
John Adams writes to his wife Abigail on this day, July 3, 1776.
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.
Of course news took longer to travel back then so it took two more days for the news to spread and the newly written document to be ratified in congress.
Regardless of the date, we celebrate something very special as Americans on Independence Day.
Not just freedom from tyranny and oppression.
But positive freedoms: religion, speech, press, assembly, and protest.
The opportunity to make what we want with our lives.
As Adams predicted, it has cost much Toil and Blood and Treasure to maintain these freedoms over the years. And as Lincoln reminds us…
We — even we here — hold the power, and bear the responsibility…. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.