We say, “Happy July 4th,” but what do we mean by this?
We mean “happy Independence Day,” celebrating the birth of a unique nation, destined to become the wealthiest, most powerful nation, most free in the world.
The 4th addressed the world with a Declaration, which said, “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.”
The document was signed by 56 white men who transitioned from British subjects to American citizens. The document that justified freedom was treason to the British and could have been the Colonial’s death warrant.
The signers, most of them, believed in God, and promised the “pursuit of Happiness.” Not the attainment, necessarily, but even the pursuit was a novel concept.
Their words were backed by bayonets, to which I will return in a minute.
First, as has been observed before, the “all men are created equal” passage was flawed.
First, no mention of women. (Generously, we could read “men” as meaning humans.)
Second, the majority of Black men (and women) in the new nation were slaves. There’s no getting away from that.
There’s also no getting away from the fact that the British brought slavery to North America in 1619, and Americans ended it in 1863, 87 years after July 4th.
So I can understand why some Black Americans boycott July 4th. “Some,” but none I know.
Among those I don’t know, and do know, Juneteenth has been widely accepted.
I recently heard Opal Lee, the Texas teacher who organized the push for Juneteenth, say she celebrates the period between June 19 and July 4 as days of freedom.
What a great way of looking at it.
While we celebrate freedom, we should pause to give thanks to the men and women who pledged “to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
Those were the closing words of the Declaration and many of the signers later were impoverished, some were incarcerated and tortured, and thousands of American farmers, tradesmen, tinkers, potters, teachers, cowboys and merchants laid down their lives in a mismatched battle against the world’s greatest military power.
The Patriots were outgunned, they were beaten like a drum in early engagements, but they were led by a wily general who fought from cover and used retreat as a strategy.
George Washington was a brilliant general who later became a sterling president of an embryo of a Republic, and established a mold for sacrifice and relinquishing power that all his successors followed, well, until you-know-who.
So let’s remember the Patriots who paid for our freedom in blood and treasure — the men and women, whites and Blacks, those born here and those who arrived from overseas to join the fight.
As many as 70,000 Americans died, in what some revisionists — looking at the 1619 Project — try to recast as a battle to save slavery, white privilege and landed gentry.
That is bullshit. What you learned in the 4th grade has more truth than the pathetic woke rewrite sponsored by the guilt-stricken The New York Times.
I am stunned by the self-hate flowing from the further corners of the Left.
The liberals I grew up with loved their country.
I can’t say the same of progressives, who find every way to belittle it, magnifying every tiny molehill flaw into a mountain of hate.
Some of them won’t acknowledge the Fourth.
They won’t be missed.