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Why do we celebrate The 4th of July?

It's that time of year again. Fireworks are being sold at stands on every corner. Barbecues are being cleaned. Salads being made. And the festivities are about to begin. Yep, it's the 4th of July. The sun is out, and the birds are singing.  

United states flag
The Flag of The United States Of America.

But what and why are we celebrating? If you ask 10 different people you will probably get 10 different answers. Most will be similar, things like “We are celebrating our independence.”  “We are celebrating our freedoms.” We are celebrating our veterans.” It's the day the founding fathers signed the constitution.” Wait what? The constitution is a bit different.  

The truth is, We the people of these United States are starting to forget why we celebrate. In fact, there are people that are not very happy that we celebrate at all. Is this because it's not understood? 

So, let's look at what is so special about the date July 4th, 1776. The day that changed the world! 

 For years leading up to July 4th and beyond there were a lot of people in the colonies that had a strong desire to be free. All the approximately 2 million people (about the population of Nebraska) that made up the colonies of the new world were not free people. We were all subjects of the King. Basically, the political power structure was determined by social class. If you did not own land, you could not vote for parliament.  

If the King decided and it was backed by parliament that was the law of the land. And that included the 13 colonies. The legislature that was formed in the colonies was basically dissolved by the King. However, some of the decisions that were made were not in the best interests of the people of the colonies.

I'm not going to go into all the things that were happening but here are a couple of examples you might have heard of. “Taxation Without Representation”. This basically meant that the colonists of the Americas, believed that they were not representant in the British parliament and that taxes being passed to them were unconstitutional, and a denial of their rights as Englishmen. “The stamp act." and “The Townshend acts.” are examples of this. Another example is that colonists did not believe that there should be a standing army of British soldiers. Many landowners were told that they had to house and give recourses to these soldiers. Many of the soldiers were not paid very well and took jobs in their off-duty time. These were jobs that were taken away from the people of the colonies and given to soldiers to ensure good status standing with the King. The full list of grievances can be found by simply reading The Declaration of Independance!  

These are very powerful words. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

provided by the national archives 

The declaration serves as a call to action from each one of us. We declared to the entire world, not just the King of England, that we are a free people. We are Sovern unto ourselves. This idea sparked the beginning of many great things to come in the United States. Things that in some cases we are still fighting for today. 

Why do we celebrate the 4th of July?

Because it's our independence not just from the King of England but our independence to be the best people that we can be. It is our right and our duty to craft our lives each day as we feel is necessary. This was the belief of the founding fathers, and it is still the belief and the foundation of our country today. This in my opinion is why we celebrate. We celebrate as a reminder of how far we have come as a nation and how much further we have yet to go. Let us never forget the accomplishments we have made in crafting a nation. And let us never forget that it is our future that we are crafting now.

Let's learn to craft our lives and not let it simply be made for us.

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