Independence Day

July 4th marks a day of celebration throughout America.  Fireworks, picnics, and parades are just some of the ways we all recognize the day our Nation was born.  Having noticed a difference in how people wish others a happy celebration, I’m curious as to what others think.

Do you say ‘Happy Fourth of July’ or something like it?  Or is yours more along the lines of ‘Happy Independence Day’?  Do you think it matters?  I’m beginning to think it does, or at least long term it will.

So many people around me wish others a ‘happy turkey day’ and a, ‘happy bunny day’.  I believe these kinds of flippant and light-hearted salutations truly detract from the significance of the occasion.

Thanksgiving had always been considered a day devoted to God in thanks for his continued providential oversight upon the Nation.  Consider President George Washington’s Thanksgiving proclamation of 1789, for example:

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

Now Thanksgiving, by and large, seems to have been reestablished as merely a day to be thankful, in general, for what you have.

Easter has become little more than a celebration of hard boiled eggs, chocolate and rabbits.  The resurrection of Jesus only has its reference in a small corner of the greeting card section of the grocery store and in churches, but there’s little more than that outside a specifically religious establishment.

Is Independence Day bound for the same fate?  Will we soon forget the historical impact on our Nation that the declaring and subsequently asserting through force our independence from Great Britain?  Or our continued freedoms and privileges this event continues to bestow on America’s citizens?  I hope not.  And I hope I’m just having a ‘Chicken Little’ moment.

That being said, I’d like to wish my readers a reverent and reflective Independence Day.

~ John

Comments

  1. First of all, happy Independence Day. America is a great country- a country worth celebrating with a history and people worth celebrating too. I was in Florida last year for the fourth of July and it was humbling to see the pride that so many Americans have for their country. It was a great experience for me and my children to see how other countries celebrate their National Holiday. I have many American friends and this day has come to have meaning for me because it has meaning for so many of them.

    I don’t think that it makes a difference whether people say “Happy Fourth of July” or “Happy Independence Day”. This holiday is not one that is likely to be changed drastically by the increase in secular culture- which is really the reason your other examples have shifted away from religious holidays to secular ones.

  2. I see a problem with so many anti-American “Americans” now-a-days, including the POTUS who shows his animosity towards the USA on a daily basis.

    • I’m not going to pretend that there are not some Americans who are so blinded by their political beliefs that they can’t seem to muster any pride in a country that may have its faults- but overall is a country worth celebrating and worth good amount of pride.
      This was on my Facebook today:

      I can only commemorate, not celebrate, the Fourth of July.
      As long as we have inequality in this country we are not truly free.

      as well as an 800 word screed that begins:

      I really hate to be a Danny Downer on America’s Birthday, but I am really disappointed in where we are as a nation. We give lipservice to freedom, thank vets for their sacrifice and all that, but I don’t think most Americans have the faintest idea what freedom really is.

      Listen, I don’t think Americans ought to be proud or celebratory of all things American- or celebrate every part of their history- but there is much to be proud of as Americans. Independence Day ought to be a reminder of the struggle that gave birth to a nation- a nation that even in spite of its faults is a wonderful country that people should be grateful to live in. Bitch about it the other 364 days- work to make it better every single day- but July 4th is meant to be a celebration, and if you can’t find anything to celebrate then I’m not sure that you are being reasonable.
      That said, your comments about President Obama are just as unreasonable and uncalled for. It saddens me that you would take an opportunity to celebrate a feeling that should unite Americans as an opportunity to libel and take cheap shots at your President.

      • George,

        Obama is exactly as I described him – not “cheap shots”. He continuously apologizes for this nation to every other nation in the world. He is doing his best to turn this country in a freedom-lacking socialist state. He has too often stated that he sees nothing exceptional about the USA. His ditzy wife has stated that she can be proud of the USA ONLY because her husband (who is NOT black – he’s “mulatto”– i.e. just as much white as black) became POTUS. They sat for 20 years under the teachings of one of the most anti-American racists in the pulpit. They don’t give two whits for the USA except to see how they can convert it socialism and perversion.

        There is no “inequality” in this country except as propagated by the LEFT – i.e. liberals. The inequality is directed at the RIGHT – i.e. conservatives. It is inequality when one group of people is given the right to redefine a social institution and force everyone else to accept it under penalty of law. It is “inequality” when those who have due to hard work are forced to give what they have to those who have not because they don’t work. THOU SHALT NOT COVET! and yet that is what the LEFT does on a daily basis.

        There will always be intrinsic “inequality” because people will never be equal in intellect, physical capabilities, wisdom, etc.

        Show me “inequality” caused by our normal culture and not caused by the government!

  3. The definition of “Un-American” is not “guy who disagrees with Glenn”.
    The definition of American doesn’t require ignorance, lack of nuance, Capitalist Idol worship, or any of the other things you mention.
    Someone can be critical of things in America and still be American, and proudly so. Americans are still proud Americans when the criticize their country if that criticism is done because they want their country to do better.
    You are critical of America and I don’t question your patriotism- I guess I just expect the same courtesy might be extended to your President as well as other Americans.

  4. I made the same observation about “Fourth of July” verses “Independence Day.”

    http://masculinechristianity.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/a-new-declaration/

  5. I have to admit, I never really thought of it that way. But then, I grew up with a Polish community that celebrated a holiday that translated literally as “Third May.” It’s actually the Polish Constitution day, I believe. Poland was under Communist rule at the time, so it was very much a protest against the forced celebration of the 1st of May.

    I do see your point, though. I’ll keep this in mind in the future. Allow me to wish you a belated Happy Independence Day. :-)

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