Tuesday, July 03, 2007

July 4th 1776

Grand Union Flag 1775-1777

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!

John Pierpoint


Marie's Two Cents said...

Happy 4th of July Jenn :-)

Mike's America said...

Happy 4th of July!

Thanks for the history. It's amazing how much of this isn't even taught these days. And despite that glaring ignorance, Fox News just released a poll showing that 80% of Americans believe this is the greatest country in the history of the world!

And you want to know how it got that way? Zell Miller's speech from the 2004 convention reminds us:

Joanne said...

Happy 4th to you, Jenn!

I stood, this morning, in front of Boston's Old State House and heard the Declaration of Independence read by a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillary--a member of which read it on July 18, 1776. This tradition has prevailed to this day. It was breathtaking.

Later in the day I watched from the docks at Boston Harbor (in Bostonese, "hahbah" as Old Ironsides" was escorted out to Castle Island, where she set off her cannons in a salute, and then turned around and majestically sailed back to Constitution Wharf.

Today we are all Americans. And to hell with political parties!

Blessings on this great nation. And to you, Jenn, for your service to our country. ANd to all the men and women in the services who continue to make us safe and proud.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Nice history lesson. Hope you had a great Independence Day!

J_G said...

Cool, I'm glad I everyone enjoyed my post. Thanks Marie, Mike, Joanne and Welcome back Word. History has been a passion for me for a long time. I very rarely find anyone that shares my interest in it. I really appreciate all of you reading my post. I had a nice 4th of July with good friends and traditonal burgers and hot dogs. There was no fireworks because at about 8 o'clock the skies opened up and it rained very hard until about 1 am. Fireworks will be over the weekend I hope. Thanks again everyone.

Yankee Doodle said...

"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."

Not only that, but one of the delegates from Massachusetts, the president of the Congress, signed it first and signed it big, commenting to the effect that "There! King George ought to be able to read that!"

"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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

J_G said...

The signers were no surrender monnkeys like those of the whining spoiled rotten class of today.

L>T said...

Hi jen! happy belated 4th to you.

SusieQ said...

Jenni, this is an excellent post. I know I can always count on learning something of history from you.

Your advice to all of us to talk to the children about the meaning of the 4th is well taken by me. I try to talk to our grandchildren about history and the meaning of certain holidays as much as possible. While I was with some of our grandchildren this past weekend visiting the Lincoln Pesidential Museum in Springfield, Illinois, I proceeded to enlighten the two older grandsons (12 and 13) about something pertaining to history. I have forgotten now just what it was. Much to my surprise they already knew about it. Again, much to my surprise I learned they are big fans of the History channel on TV. I was thrilled to find that out.

J_G said...

Happy Independence Day Susie and L>T. Thanks for stopping by. I posted a response on your blog Susie. Your trip to the Lincoln Museum looked like a lot of fun.

L>T, long time no see. I hope things are going well. I hope things cool off for you soon, my friend in your area has been telling me about the heat wave.

patterns of ink said...

Always great to read here.

I have a feeling you've had this happen to you before, but it's new to me. I promise not to do it again but...
You've been tagged!
Some of your readers have already been tagged so good luck. I guess I'm supposed to direct you to my blog (The "tagged" post is below the one you read today) and then your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read the "rules" and write 8 random things about yourself. :)

SusieQ said...


patterns of ink said...

I have a feeling you are on vacation. Hope you're having a great time.

J_G said...

Susie and Tom, not to worry I have been giving my computer a break. I dug my little boat out from under my pines and have been working on it (mostly the trailer). I kind of stuck it under two of my big pines last year when my brother was here to get it out of the way. Now I've got it back into shape and I'm going out fly fishing this weekend. I haven't been out with my flyrod for two years and I need to go get some time on the water where I find my peace and gather my thoughts.

Thank you for your concern Susie and Tom I really have met some special people here through this blog.

SusieQ said...

Jenni, I just needed to be assured that you were okay. Did you see the movie A River Runs Through It with Brad Pitt? Have a peaceful time fly fishing this weekend.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Good to know you're just stepping away from the computer and enjoying the "real world".

Enjoy the weekend!

patterns of ink said...

Me again.
Now that's an excuse I can relate to, and I envy you for being sidetracked in such a productive "summery" project and weekend to test it out. I've been eyeing a small boat that's for sale on the side of the road near here. The sign says OBO and I may just shoot him one so low that even my wife will be okay with it.
We're going camping for most of this week and I can't wait!

DD2 said...

A belated Happy 4th to you all...