It’s a holiday that many mark with its date, and while most simply refer to it as the Fourth of July, the people of this great nation cannot and should not forget its true designation as Independence Day. This special day is far more than just another on the calendar, or a reason to take time off from work. It is recognition of the battles fought; the lives given; and the peace that was forged in order to form a more perfect union. It is a celebration of all that makes America great and a reminder that the freedoms that define this nation were hard-earned, and require the continued commitment of the American people to maintain.
Interestingly, while the nation will celebrate its independence on July 4, it is the date of July 2, 1776 that marks when a closed session of Congress first approved a resolution of independence. In fact, it was John Adams who wrote, “The second day of July, 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary festival.” Adams missed the mark by two days, as the nation now celebrates the date shown on the Declaration of Independence, but his point remains valid about the annual celebration that occurs in recognition of this nation’s greatness.
As Americans gather this Independence Day to enjoy time with family and friends, eat some barbecue, watch some fireworks, or however they choose to celebrate, it’s important to remember the date itself is not what defines this holiday. Yes, many will always refer to the holiday as the Fourth of July, but the true meaning of this annual celebration is to remind all Americans about the struggle this nation underwent to achieve independence, and to give them an appreciation for how abundantly blessed they are to live in a nation where they are truly free. America is the greatest nation on earth and the American people have reason to be truly thankful for all they have not only on Independence Day, but on each and every day the United States continues to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
As always, it is an honor to serve you. Allen Andrews, State Representative – District 1, Missouri State Capitol, 201 West Capitol Avenue, Jefferson City, MO 65101; Telephone: (573) 751-9465; Allen.Andrews@house.mo.gov