There is a lot of turmoil in the United States and around the world today. Stateside politics and Supreme Court decisions have us divided as a nation. People in countries all over Europe, Africa, Asia and South America are rising up in revolt, leading to unrest all over the globe.
But despite our troubles and the tumult all around us, today remains a dichotomous day of solemn reflection, and of celebration. I think our second President, John Adams, said it best:
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. (The Book of Abigail and John: Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, Harvard University Press, 1975, 142).
Americans have come a long way in our 237 years together. We have had turmoil and trouble throughout our history. But I believe it’s the pursuit and protection of freedom, and the “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence” which have allowed this fledgling nation to rise to such prosperity that the entire world benefits from its existence.
Today let’s eat a burger, watch some fireworks, and celebrate. Let’s also pause to give thanks for our freedom—given by God, enshrined in our founding documents, and protected by the men and women of our military. We are truly blessed.
Happy Independence Day!