T Nation

What is Independence Day?

Being as how I haven’t seen a thread asking this question I wanted to start my own. I’m just wondering what Independence Day means to the average American. I’ve asked a few colleagues of mine who are English and think that it is funny that no one even really equates independence with the American Revolution. We all know how we gained independence yet its significance seems somewhat imperceptible.

Is it because we are now amiable toward Britain that we ignore our independence as an artificial relic in our adolescent history? Will our independence become even more inscrutable as years pass–or am I missing the point entirely; has Independence Day become more of a symbolic holiday rather than a day to celebrate freedom from imperialistic tyranny?

Our Independence wasn’t won on July 4, 1776. It was the day our independence was declared - the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed.

With folks from my era - I think we all know what the deal is. No one old enough to experience the Bicentennial Celebrations back in the mid 70’s should ever have any trouble understanding what Independence Day symbolizes.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
I’m just wondering what Independence Day means to the average American.[/quote]

Fireworks! And barbecue! And beer!

Because the average American is an IDIOT.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Our Independence wasn’t won on July 4, 1776. It was the day our independence was declared - the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed.
[/quote]
So you would say it is symbolic in nature. Just the fact that we reached down and grabbed it like we had a pair is all it took to gain independence?

RJ, you make a good point just by using its conventional name “The 4th of July” instead of Independence Day. Most people won’t even acknowledge the fact that it ivolved the sacrifices of our forefathers

Isn’t that what all holidays are, really? Symbolic days that should cause us to stop and remember?

We don’t celebrate the actual winning of the War of Independence. I find that a bit odd, but I never stopped to think about it until now.

Does anyone else find it odd that we celebrate the day we declared our independence, but we don’t celebrate the actual winning of the war?

I wonder why that is?

What I find amazing about the Declaration of Independence is the fact that all the signers essentially put their necks in King Georges noose when they signed it.

If England would have squashed the revolution, they would have all been dead men. These guys had a lot to lose, they were prominent people, yet they risked it all.

It took major guts to do what they did.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Does anyone else find it odd that we celebrate the day we declared our independence, but we don’t celebrate the actual winning of the war?

I wonder why that is?[/quote]

Two celebrations of the same idea would get confusing, I guess. And because we’re too cheap. We don’t even celebrate Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays separately anymore.

Myself I’d hold out for a full federal holiday for each armistice in every war we’ve ever fought, plus the individual birthdays of at least five or six presidents.

We’ve tried starving the beast, and you see how well that works. Let’s try partying it to death.

To an increasing number of average Americans, Independence Day means remembering the way things used to be, and I don’t mean British imperialism.

The day Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum defeated the Aliens and made the world safe once again?

What does the Fourth of July mean to contemporary Americans? For many it means a day off from work and little more. To others it means an opportunity to “party,” roast hot dogs, drink beer and watch fireworks.

But to the Founders of our nation, it meant far more. Upon the completion of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, known as the “Father of the American Revolution” said -

“We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come.”

Adams was a man of no small stature in the colonies. His views are widely known and he was not a closet Christian. He formed the Committees of Correspondence that unified the colonists preceding the Revolution, signed the Declaration of Independence, and served as Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Massachusetts.

It was Adam’s view that in declaring their independence from Great Britain, the colonists were placing themselves under the only true “sovereign”, the King of Kings and the LORD of lords. Adams believed that as God “reigns in Heaven” it was His desire to further His Kingdom in the New World “from the rising to the setting of the sun.”

On July 3, 1776, the day following Congress approval of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams, a signer of the Declaration and later our president wrote the following to his wife Abigail:

“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. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

To John Adams, it was to be remembered as a “Day of Deliverance” from the control and oppression of tyrants, and it should be marked by acts of devotion to the God who delivers! To Sam Adams, and to his cousin John, the spiritual implications were significant. As God, the author of our liberty has “declared” us free from the power, dictates and cruel authority of the arch “tyrant”, the colonists were declaring themselves “free” to serve the King of Kings, and not an earthly tyrant. Their understanding of the event was theologically based, in a desire to serve the only true “sovereign”, Christ Himself.

It is difficult in light of the current state of America for the next generation to gain an understanding or appreciation of these spiritual implications. The enemy is using ignorance, complacency, and revisionism to disengage Christians from their civic duties.

While we celebrate “Independence” this fourth of July, remember that the greatness of America is knowing that our liberty comes from Him who died for us, and that our “freedoms” spring from the love of God.