As we gather with our family and friends for barbeques and picnics this July 4th lets take some time with the children and explain to them why we are celebrating. I have no confidence that the children are being taught in the schools today about why we celebrate the 4th of July. First ask yourself; OK why are we celebrating? I have every confidence that the readers that frequent this blog know the reason behind celebrating July 4th. Just out of curiosity though while you are at your friend’s or family’s houses go to your nieces, nephews, or grandchildren and ask them if they know why we celebrate and what the meaning behind it all is. I don’t expect that children of grade school age will know all the names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence but they should know the names of the Thirteen Colonies and the name of the country the signers were declaring their independence from. I also think they should understand the type of government the signers wanted to be free from and what the signers had in mind for the future.
I grew up and have lived in the Philadelphia area for my whole life except for my time in the Navy and the information about the formation of our nation has always been all around me. I am humbled by understanding that those that signed the Declaration of Independence knew they were signing their own death warrant for treason to the Crown of England. Those brave men signed it anyway setting in motion a revolution that is still the envy of the world, the Crown of England notwithstanding.
If you can, take the time to talk with the children about it. It may be the only time they get any information about the bravery and dedication that a group of freedom minded Americans displayed back on July 4th 1776 which is the heritage of that child.
Warren's Address to the American Soldiers, Before the Battle of Bunker Hill
STAND! the ground's your own, my braves!
Will you give it up to slaves?
Will ye look for greener graves?
Hope ye mercy still?
What's the mercy despots feel!
Hear it in the battle peal!
Read it on yon bristling steel!
Ask it--ye who will.
Fear ye foes who kill for hire!
Will ye to your homes retire?
Look behind you! they're afire!
And, before you, see
Who have done it!--From the vale
On they come!--and will ye quail?--
Leaden rain and iron hail
Let their welcome be!
In the God of battles trust!
Die we may--and die we must:--
But, O, where can dust to dust
Be consign'd so well,
As where heaven its dews shall shed
On the martyr'd patriot's bed,
And the rocks shall raise their head,
Of his deeds to tell!