To my fellow Americans who may be reading this, I hope you are having, or have had, a very happy Independence Day. To anyone else who might be reading this, I trust that you enjoy your countries’ national days as much as we do ours.
It was 235 years ago that John Adams, later to become our second President, wrote to his wife Abigail as to how he thought the day should be commemorated in the future. He said, “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
I definitely think we Americans took Adams’s musings to heart in celebrating Independence Day. If we could bring him back, 185 years after his death, I wonder what he would think of how the country he helped found celebrates its founding.
[TRIVIA: Today is the anniversary of the deaths of three American Presidents — John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom died in 1826; and James Monroe, who died in 1831. It is also the birthdate of one other President — Calvin Coolidge, who was born in 1872.]
Back in April, I wrote an interpretation of the Declaration Of Independence, partially as a way of better understanding it myself. As I mentioned in that particular entry, I imagined it as if I were explaining it to a group of elementary school students. Since I posted that entry, I have taken another look or two at the Declaration, and I have one more opinion about it:
It is an indictment.
The Continental Congress was sitting as a grand jury, and the Declaration Of Independence was the true bill that they returned. In essence, they accused George III of tyranny, and the main section of the Declaration is a list of specific charges against him.
Once I reached this conclusion, I began another train of thought. There are those who believe that Barack Obama is just as great a tyrant as George III was, if not greater. If a Declaration Of Independence were being written today, what would be the specific charges of tyranny leveled against Obama?