Question, how many people still wear their Old Navy Flag shirt from 2002? LOL! Nothing screams 4th of July than that. Just one more reason I love this holiday.
Even though I don’t light off fire crackers, bake apple pie or get crazy drunk at a family barbecue anymore, doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate our Independence. I just look at this holiday a bit more maturely and my son is not a fan of fireworks. Otherwise, I would still probably be outside blowing up coffee cans.
Anywho, today is the National day of the United States. What does that mean? Well, fireworks, barbecues, parades, and family reunions of course. But have you stopped to think about the history of our freedom? It was actually July 2, 1776, during the American Revolution that the Thirteen Colonies received legal separation from Great Britain.
After receiving our freedom, Congress wrote the Declaration of Independence explaining this decision. Thomas Jefferson was the main author. It wasn’t until July 4 the document was finally approved.
It is believed that the first use of the term “Independence Day” was in 1791. And in 1938, the 4th of July became a national paid federal holiday. Thank you, President Roosevelt.
As our country has evolved, the term freedom has changed over the years. To many, freedom is all political. Freedom to vote, freedom or speech, etc. To others it’s financial. The freedom to have credit, savings and debt. Or the freedom from sin by the grace of God. And what about the freedom to dream, grow and be whoever you want to be?
This topic can get a little hairy because freedom means different things to different people. And on this day of freedom, I want to share my thoughts on the subject.
When I was a little girl, I ran free in my backyard. I had my own bedroom, food available whenever I was hungry, a bike to ride, and friends to play with. I got to go to school, watch Saturday morning cartoons, drink chocolate milk and eat ice cream. I had a Christmas tree, birthday parties and a stereo to listen to music. In my childhood days, that was freedom.
In my teenage years, freedom changed from being taken care of by my parents to exploring the world on my own. I had my own car, job and money. I got to make my own decision on what I wanted to wear, who I wanted to hang with and where I wanted to go. That was freedom.
In my early adult life, I got to vote for the first time, pay taxes, get loans, go to college, have my own house and even kids. Regardless of the hard work, it was still freedom.
Today all those freedoms above still hold true. But I can add a few more to the list. Like, the freedom to use the internet, access to medical care, worshipping in a church, and writing this post. Many across our world don’t have the right to these simple freedoms, but I do.
Freedom is far greater than just the right to act however I want. It also stands for allowing equal opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom begins in the heart.
Where would we be if our founding fathers didn’t have the passion and drive within themselves to fight for a better life for their generation and the many generations to come?
Sadly, freedom does come with a price. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Freedom isn’t free.” And that is true. I have to thank all the military men and women who have served and lost their lives to keep mine safe. I believe, with all my heart, that our military is the best there is and they are true heroes. From the War of 1812 to the battles we are still fighting today, no one deserves honor and praise than every single soldier (past and present) fighting to keep me free. The heart and soul of a soldier has the same burning desires as our founding fathers.
On this day, I am thankful for my freedom. I am thankful for peace. I am thankful for God and country. I am not worried about terrorism, who can use what restroom, and which clown is running for President.
So whatever freedom is to you, embrace and celebrate it today. In fact, we should be celebrating it every day! And regardless if we agree on politics, religion or worldly views, we all have one thing in common that will never fade – we are Americans, we are loved by God and we are united. Let freedom ring!
Now go blow stuff up and eat apple pie. Happy 4th of July!