By Tim Hunt
Celebrating America's heritageUploaded: Jul 5, 2022
How delightful it feels today, July 4th, as I write this blog for Tuesday to see that America is again celebrating its birthday with gusto.
We are in Central Oregon, enjoying clear views of snow-capped Cascade Range with Mt. Bachelor, Three Sisters and Broken Top on full display. When we were last here in September 2017, the wildfires and the resulting smoke had been so bad all summer that we never saw the gorgeous mountain views that this area is famed for our entire stay. Today will be in the mid-70s with some clouds in clear blue skies.
The several Central Oregon cities all have public events---parades, family gatherings and fireworks displays set for 10 p.m. tonight. On the television, the traditional Boston Pops, Macys New York City, and Capitol 4th are all scheduled for broadcast.
Covid-19 mutated variants are still around, but the public, for the most part, has moved on. Inflation is running rampant—the Biden Administration bragged last year that the 4th of July barbeque was 16 cents cheaper—no comment this year that it’s 17%--not cents-- more expensive. In other words, if it was $50 last year, it’s $58.50 this year and that’s not including the gas to get there that has more than doubled in price.
Driving up here on Saturday we passed through thunderstorms complete with more lightening than I remember seeing in my lifetime—it was all playing out through the windshield although the deluges were so heavy at times that it required full speed on the windshield wipers and slower speeds on the highway to move through it.
That long drive provided plenty of time for podcasts and my wife played one that included John Adams’ letter to his wife Abigail written during the Second Continental Congress in 1776 in Philadelphia.
He wrote, ““The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. 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 Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
He missed on the date because it look longer than he anticipated to prepare the document for signature. The commentator pointed out that the United States is unique among democratic republics that it has an anniversary that is approaching its 250th celebration in four years. He asked can you say when China started or Great Britain? Former colonies celebrate the dates they were granted freedom.
America’s road to freedom was formalized on July 4, 1776 although the eight-year Revolutionary War had started with the British invasion and the battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775.
So, I hope you celebrated joyfully our nation, as bitterly divided as it seems these days, on our strong common heritage that should still bind us together.