As we get ready to celebrate our nation’s birthday on Monday, I’d like to share a quote from one of our greatest patriots. John Adams, our 2nd president, and a firebrand of a legislator who was largely responsible for fanning the flames of independence in the American colonies, wrote to his wife Abigail on July 2, 1776–the day that Congress decided to declare its independence from Great Britain:
Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.
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 triumph in that Days Transaction, even although We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.
July 4th is a big deal. It’s not just a day to blow stuff up and barbecue. It’s the representation of an ideal of liberty, a beacon of hope to the nations, that has shined brightly since that day in 1776. Make sure you take time with your family to remember what Adams and his compatriots fought so hard for, and believed so strongly in.