BY RAY VAN COR
The Greenville Standard
“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 Shows, 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.”
These are the words of John Adams, one of our founding fathers, our first Vice President and second President of these United States, in a letter to his wife, Abigail, after our second Continental Congress accepted the Declaration of Independence.
We should celebrate! Think of all we the people have endured, lost, gained and enjoyed this past two hundred and forty-four years.
My fondest memories of celebrating Independence Day were spent playing in the front yard at Paw and Maw Turner’s (aka Bunt and Babe, aka Ross and Mary Turner) out in the Wildfork community.
Granddaddy loved Independence Day. He almost never took a day off from working, but he took off July the Fourth.
He would cook out and make his homemade peach ice cream. There was always a ballgame played in the front yard, and we’d play even in the dark till it was fireworks time, which was truly one of the most comical ways to finish the evening.
My stepdad would go out and light the fireworks and try to run back before they’d go off. His antics kept us laughing till they were gone.
So as you celebrate Independence Day, take an honest reflection on why it is worth celebrating.
Teach your children the true meaning of Independence Day. Teach them about the true cost of the freedoms we enjoy.
Teach them about the men and women who made those sacrifices. Teach them our history so they can learn from our mistakes and not repeat them.
Oh, don’t forget the homemade peach ice cream.