Independence. The word by itself fuels an immense variety of meanings. As teenagers, we dream of doing everything without anyone’s input. As matriarchs, we dream of doing everything without the need for physical assistance. Students of all ages seek out independent learning. You can find independent contractors. Many churches identify themselves as being independent. The word independence has many faces. But our nation’s independence, the day on which America was officially born in 1776, should draw a similar picture for all of us.
243 years later, any American who can tell the story of our independence from experience or heard the story from a relative who lived it first-hand has long since passed. Everything we know is handed down to us in history books and through internet searches. That can make July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 delegates to the Continental Congress, feel like a distant story instead of what it truly is. To have men and women who could tell stories of what life was like before, after and during the fight for our independence would be absolutely fascinating.
We will never have the privilege of shaking the men’s hands who had any part in our initial freedom. We can’t thank them or their families. But we can celebrate the 4th of July in a way that honors them. For example, by making sure our children understand the history of our nation and how we had to fight to be free…and still do. In the Birmingham area, you can take them to places like American Village where learning about our history literally comes alive. Stone Mountain Park just outside of Atlanta celebrates the 4th with special events all day and a spectacular laser show followed by captivating patriotic fireworks to leave your kids in awe, giving you the perfect opportunity to explain why the celebration is so big. Or it can be as simple as talking positively about our nation while enjoying juicy hamburgers and writing names in the dark with sparklers.
However your family celebrates, remember independence. Remember the courageous battles you read about. Remember the determination and hope these men clung to as they refused a different outcome to their efforts. Remember the wise men who put so much thought into the wording and elegance of our Declaration of Independence. Remember that we, as a nation, are blessed. We are free.
Our family at Specification Rubber Products wishes you a very happy 4th of July celebration.