Although we do not today celebrate our independence, John Adams predicted that July 2 would be a great holiday for Americans. After all, on July 2 of 1776—and not July 4—the Continental Congress voted for independence, thus politically severing us from Mother Britain. We should also remember that War for Independence had waged for over a year before the Declaration. What do we then celebrate on July 4th? We celebrate freedom and the publication of the declaration of our independence.
Perhaps it is fitting that we celebrate a day not beginning the fight or ending it, not of voting for freedom or obtaining it,but rather the day we proclaimed to the world our freedom, our independence, and the resolution to safeguard it. We celebrate a moment in the saga of freedom—in medias res, if you will—when our forefathers did more than just declare us free and independent. To support this declaration, they pledged to each other what they held dear: life, fortunes, and honor.
As we prepare to celebrate with family and friends, may we also resolve, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,” to dedicate what we hold dear to the cause of freedom. We are still in the midst of our forefathers’ labor, for the work of freedom is never done.