Independence Day Through The Eyes Of The American Legion

Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, etc., in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. While we enjoy and look forward to these wonderful family events, let us remember as we watch the beauty and excitement of local fireworks, that the fireworks of war don’t contain any beauty.

During the war of 1812, our national anthem was developed from a poem written in “Defense of Fort M’Henry” by Frances Scott Key while watching the “’rocket’ red glare, and the bombs bursting in air.”

Independence Day (colloquially the Fourth of July or July 4th) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject (and subordinate) to the monarch of Britain, King George III, and were now united, free, and independent states. The Congress had voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2, but it was not declared until July 4.

You will notice in the previous paragraph the notation (colloquially the Fourth of July or July 4th). In a way, we denigrate our independence by colloquially identifying this national holiday as the Fourth of July or July 4th. It was our nation’s beginnings, our nation’s freedoms declared, and our nation’s independence.

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain in 1776 actually occurred on July 2, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain’s rule.

The following is a poem written and published by the American Legion remembering our fight and suffering for our countries freedoms. We must always remember the sacrifices from those who devoted their lives for the cause of freedom and are still doing so on this very day.

Our Beginning

The 1770’s, both good and bad
we were in a new land, both happy & sad
The British controlled, & were demanding & bold
but we had brave people who didn’t like to be told
Town meetings were held & great speeches rang out
they wanted to make sure everyone knew what the rule was about
But the British had an army, uniformed & armed
they had food & shelter & felt very charmed
They never suspected the commoners would rise
and when they did, it was a disastrous surprise
Through terrible conditions the common folk endured
but they were determined, challenged & demurred
Through starvation and sickness, the death toll was high
but despite all the hardships they never went awry
Sure there were deserters, too sick to go forth
they went in all directions, east, south, west and north
But Washington pleaded, and gave it his all
seeing his suffering, with them, they together stood tall
In the end their freedom was won
they returned home in peace once the fighting was done

Peter Cacciolfi, US Navy 1951-1955


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