July 4th, a Day to Remember

I know that Friday has become a day to get you updated on all things chicken and rabbit related. Sometimes the other animals actually make it in to a post too. However, this Friday is different. It marks the start of the 4th of July holiday here in the US. Of course, it’s my sincere wish that you do something happy with family and friends during the holiday. After all, that’s what freedom is all about—being able to express yourself in a manner that makes you and everyone around you happy. A lot of good people have lost their lives over the years to ensure that you remain free. (As part of my celebration, I plan to take Monday, the 6th of July, off, so there won’t be a blog post on that day.)

It’s also important to remember what this holiday is all about. The Declaration of Independence in 1776 wasn’t the start of anything as many people think. It also wasn’t the end of anything. If you read history, you find that it really was more the middle of something. The founding fathers had been meeting long before the declaration was made and we wouldn’t actually gain our freedom until the 21st of June, 1788. That’s when New Hampshire ratified the constitution, making us a country. The British pulled out on the 25th of November, 1783, but really, we still weren’t a nation just because the British had decided to leave.

Some people put the start of the revolution all the way in 1754 during the French and Indian war, but the big doings that led people to get fed up started with the Sugar Act signed on the 5th of April, 1764. So, when you think about the July 4th, you really must remember it was a milestone somewhere in the middle of something much larger—something that lasted at least 24 years and possibly longer than that.

Our freedom wasn’t easily won and it cost far more than most people realize in terms of resources and lives lost. Freedom also isn’t something that you just keep because someone gave it to you. We continue, as a nation, to earn the freedom that our forefathers worked so hard to obtain. That freedom could easily be lost without the required diligence. As you celebrate today, think about your responsibility toward your country. Rather than complain about the condition of things, work toward keeping, maintaining, and regaining the freedoms our forefathers felt we should have.


Celebrating the 4th of July

The 4th of July is an important holiday for Americans because it celebrates the declaration of freedom that started our country in 1776. Of course, there were a lot of events that led up to the declaration and we need to keep them in mind. The people involved were actually in danger of losing their lives had they been caught. In all actuality, many people were caught embracing freedom and died because of it. The freedom we enjoy today was won with a lot of blood over the years—the sacrifice of patriots who wanted something better for their families and those who would follow them.

Choosing a specific day for such celebrations is always interesting. The day we should celebrate is July 2nd because that’s when the Continental Congress actually voted for independence. Hand writing the Declaration of Independence took a while and so the document is dated July 4th, but the act took place on the 2nd. If you want to be a stickler for details (the act isn’t finished until the paperwork is done), we should celebrate until August 2nd because it took that long to get the document signed. In short, that we have a specific day to celebrate is amazing.

Our recollection of many events surrounding July 4th are actually quite wrong. National Geographic presented a list of nine myths some time ago and the article is well worth reading again. For example, Paul Revere most definitely didn’t ride alone, even though the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow makes it seem that way. There are also no secret messages hidden in the Declaration of Independence, despite what the makers of National Treasure would have you believe.

No matter how you choose to spend the day, be sure to take a little time to consider the cost of your freedom. Your freedom wasn’t free—many patriots paid the ultimate price for it. Not being engaged in protecting our freedoms using whatever skills we possess means giving up the very thing these people died to give us. If nothing else, take a little time out to watch a few short 4th of July videos and discuss them with your family and friends. The barbecue and fireworks will wait the few minutes needed to consider just what our freedom means.

Personally, I’ll be taking some time today to express my own sense of freedom by working in the flower garden for a while and checking on my herbs. Our fireworks won’t happen until tomorrow night (I plan to be on hand because our fireworks are always amazing for such a small town). Let me know your thoughts on the 4th of July and the freedom our country enjoys at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.


Enjoying the 4th

I’ll be taking Monday, the 4th of July off, as I do every year. For us, it’s more than a simple declaration of freedom; more than a historical event. Rebecca and I view the 4th of July as a time to remember the sacrifices of the past, the issues of the present, and the direction our country is moving in the future. Every country in history has had problemsthe people of the United States enjoy a nearly unparalleled level of freedom that has been hard won by citizens in the past. Even so, we have problems that should be addressed by the people who are the best position to handle the jobevery citizen of this country.

One of the issues I struggle with constantly is the balance between security and freedom. After 9/11 our country starting viewing security with fresh eyes to the extent that our freedoms have been seriously eroded. When I read about the TSA requiring a 95 year old woman dying of leukemia to remove her diaper for inspection, I have to think that we’ve gone too far. Even the later CNN article makes it plain that the TSA is out of control. The people in charge actually approved of this action?  I read five or six different articles online and get the idea that there is some confusion over the precise reason that the diaper was removed, but the fact that it was removed at all is certainly beyond the need for security. I’m pretty sure I don’t have much to fear from a 95 year old leukemia patient. Certainly, the incident gives me pause about getting on a plane anytime soon. Still, the 4th is a time of celebration and I don’t mean to make this post a diatribe on the shortcomings of the TSA. They do have a tough job. The point I’m trying to make is that you do need to think about your freedom and what it means to you. The 4th is an excellent time to do just that.

Of course, it’s not all about considering the past, present, or future. Sometimes you need to sit back and enjoy the freedom; otherwise, there is no point in having it. Saturday night is time for our town’s fireworks display. Rebecca and I will be there as always seeing the spectacular. We have quite a show and many people from other towns come to visit. What makes our fireworks display special is that the volunteer fire department puts it on using donations from the entire town. That’s rightthe entire town collects cans and donates monetarily to see a grand night of fireworks each year.

There are many other events that happen this time of year too. For example, if you’re into gardening, you can take the garden walk Saturday morning. We enjoy a lot of opportunities for outside activities, including my favorite, fishing. Think small town and lots of people getting together simply because they like each other (or at least tolerate each other enough). For us, freedom is all about enjoying the natural surroundings and the friends that a small town can provide.

I hope that you choose to enjoy the 4th of July. If you don’t know much about the history behind this event, take a little time to check out a video or at least read a bit about it. Your freedom is a gift from those who came before. Once lost, you can’t buy freedom at any price, it must be earnedoften with a significant loss of life. It’s our responsibility to ensure that our children will be able to enjoy this amazing holiday. So, while you’re watching the fireworks display, take a little time to think about what you can do to preserve the freedom we celebrate.