Pardon me, whilst I get historical...
It was a hot July night in the year 1776. Men from the 13 united states were gathered to discuss the issue at hand: breaking off from the mother country of Great Britain. They debated and hackneyed words back and forth. John Dickinson, a leading and influential delegate from Pennsylvania gave his heartfelt opposition to independence. Silence. And then, John Adams took the floor with respect and with an unyielding passion implored his fellow countrymen to vote for independence. It was said to be the best speech of his life and was the speech that persuaded congress to declare independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776.
Thomas Jefferson, having been called upon to write a declaration of independence, presented his work to congress with very few words being changed, but much argumentation by the delegates. John Adams was asked to pick a man to draft a declaration and it was Adams who fought for it's approval. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. It is often misunderstood that we celebrate Independence day because the declaration was signed by all of the delegates on July 4. In fact, it took quite a bit longer for them to put their signatures on the paper. It may disturb our preconceived ideas about the men in congress neatly forming a line to add their names to Liberty's call, but it in fact, did not happen that way.
In recently reading John Adams, a very thorough biography by David McCullough, I found him a very fascinating man. He is not as well loved or admired as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin, but he had just as much to do with our liberty from England as did they, just as much ardor and determination for our country.
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.
~ John Adams~
Adams and Jefferson were friends from the start of the revolution, but during both men's presidencies suffered a rift due to political stances. Toward the very end of their lives they started to correspond with one another and picked up, as it were, where they left off, providing consolation and comfort to one another during the last years. As if out of a fairy story, both men died on the very same day, July 4, 1826, the very day of the 50th anniversary of the approval of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson went first, then John Adams, his last words being, "Thomas Jefferson survives." It seems only right that the two men most responsible for this much-loved document would die on the anniversary of the day when it was adopted.
O posterity, you will never know how much it cost us to preserve your freedom. I hope that you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.
Will we strive to keep the kind of country our forefathers established for us and honor the sacrifices they made for posterity? I do hope so!
Praise God for His hand on our country from the beginning!
Happy Independence Day !