Originally Published: July 3, 2008 9:49 p.m.
This is the day for fireworks, picnics, special sales, and entertainment events.
People celebrate the Fourth of July with great enthusiasm, but we seem to have become more attached to the means of celebration than the event Independence Day commemorates.
Back on July 4, 1776, community leaders in the 13 colonies made some tough decisions. They were fed up with laws and taxes imposed on them without their participation or consent. They were tired of soldiers garrisoned in their towns and sometimes in their homes.
Thus they were willing to risk everything they had acquired and accomplished to sever their ties with England, a move that certainly would lead to war with what then was the most powerful nation on earth.
It was a little like quitting your job in the middle of a depression and then whacking a grizzly bear on the nose with a willow switch.
Those people had reached a point where nothing mattered to them more than the freedom to decide their own destiny. It was a concept so vital to them that they were willing to risk all they had acquired and accomplished and to pledge their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to fulfill.
Some of those who put their names to the Declaration of Independence indeed gave up their lives and fortunes.
But they won us the freedom we enjoy today, to see the summer movie we want to see, to assemble peaceably with friends for a picnic, to criticize our government and to work where we choose to work.
We never should be too caught up in exercising our freedom that we forget where it came from or how much it cost.