Americans call July 4, 1776 Independence Day; it’s an inaccuracy that is indicative of both our best and worst traits as a society. It speaks to what lives in the heart of American determination, because it celebrates the day America announced it had enough of British rule. It’s a defiant, boastful point of view to pinpoint the signing of the Declaration of Independence as the day that America became its own country. It speaks volumes about our force of will, as a people.
But it also illustrates one of our biggest failings. Because we tend to be so results-oriented, we sometimes give short shrift to the massive efforts taken to achieve those results. The American Revolution did not begin on ‘Independence Day,’ and it certainly didn’t end there. We tend to forget that the 4th of July was, in some ways, symbolic in nature; the Founding Fathers offering tangible proof that the United States intended to be free, and that they would not waver from achieving that end. For the most part, the actual war for freedom lay ahead. It was a call to arms for both America and England.
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