Fourth of July Thoughts by Debra H. Goldstein (click for comments)

fourth of july cakeFourth of July has become synonymous with flag waving, excitement and best of all hamburgers, hotdogs, ribs, cole slaw, potato salad, watermelon and banana pudding. People also claim it commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence and America’s birth as a new nation.  Most have the food element down pat, but not the historical facts. 

Independence was declared on July 2, 1776. That was the day the final draft was presented for edits and comments.  It was not until July 4, 1776 that the Continental Congress approved the modified document. From that point on, both the agreed compromise declaration and the ornamental version signed in August carried the July 4th date.

Each word of the Declaration of Independence is important but I can’t help focusing on the signatures affixed to it.  john hancockWhether one looks at John Hancock’s bold signature or the other less flamboyant ones, there is a message of bravery in each name.  Those who signed knew they were rebelling against the mother country in a treasonous manner. There would be no going back, but they had accepted any potential consequences because they were signing their personal names in the name of a greater concept: freedom.

I am a student of history.  War, peace, societal changes and even the mudslinging of today’s political climate will all one day be part of history. Perhaps though, we should step back for a moment and embrace the unity of today.  I’m going to by taking a moment to thank those who signed the Declaration of Independence for this country I love. Then, I’m going to get in line for a hotdog.

11 comments

  1. Amy Saag says:

    Great piece, Debra. We have many things to learn from our nation’s history..if only we were to focus. Wishing you and yours a safe and grateful 4th:)

  2. B.K. Stevens says:

    Lovely message, Debra. You put the focus where it belongs. It’s easy to forget how much courage it took to sign that document at a time when everything was so uncertain. We owe our founders unending gratitude.

  3. Listen up, students of history. We live in uncertain times. The roads may be paved, though they are in need of repair and the wars are not being fought on our shores, but some of the skirmishes have touched us, yet, we continue to be the land of the free, with some restrictions, of course. So what if the government can track our every move on the internet, listen to our conversations, and tax us with or with representation (our representatives and legislators seem to be on a permanent hiatus), we are still the land of the free.
    Please remember, freedom comes at a price.

  4. Kaye George says:

    Yes, it’s good to KNOW the actual dates. When you stop to think about what they were doing, it’s astounding. Think how motivated they must have been to do such a dangerous undertaking. Conditions must have been unbearable. That’s what I think about the migrations here of my ancestors. How could they have chanced death to come here?

    And thanks! I’d forgotten about banana pudding.

  5. Rosalie Gotlieb says:

    Thank you, Debra, for the history lesson along with the chance to take a breath and just realize that today’s news is tomorrow’s history. As we settle in to watch fireworks we will remember the bravery of our forefathers and know that we are so blessed to live in this great country.

  6. Cindy Berry says:

    Judge Goldstein thank you for reminding us less we forget how brave the forefathers of this Great Country we live in were.

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