THE FOURTH of July is a glorious holiday, signifying the birth of our nation.
It's a time for celebrating which most people will be doing, albeit without giving a thought to what the men who laid the groundwork for our nation went through. They put their lives on the line when they signed the Declaration of Independence.
After all, Benjamin Franklin, when signing the great document, reportedly said, ""We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
Then, there was Caesar Rodney, who covered 80 miles over muddy roads in 18 hours in a torrential rainstorm at night to cast a decisive vote for independence. He did all that despite ill health. In addition to asthma, he had a cancerous growth on his face and covered it with a green silk veil or screen.
Others did die in the fight for independence, many of them in the Ohio Valley where they battled not only the British but the American Indians.
EIGHTY-SEVEN years later, President Abraham Lincoln referred to the founding fathers' actions in bringing forth "a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
Referring to the sacrifices during the Civil War, Lincoln called for people to resolve that "this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
Considering the condition of the United States and the world today, our country is overdue for another new birth of freedom. Citizens should pay more attention to government and to the individuals they elect.
DESPITE the responsibilities facing us as citizens, there's still time for fun in celebrating the Fourth of July. For most people, it's a day of relaxation, possibly accompanied by fireworks and hot dogs.
Even the founding fathers would agree it's a time to celebrate.
John Adams, referring to actions taken in July concerning independence, wrote, "It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with ... Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."