OUR OPINION: The meaning of Independence Day, its tradition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day is described by many as an annual celebration commemorating the anniversary of a nation’s assumption of independent statehood, usually after ceasing a colony of another state. Most countries honor their respective independence day as a national holiday. But to many Americans the national holiday has become a time of gathering for family and friends. Popular culture celebrates the day as somewhat of a gala or birthday party for the country.

Flags wave, bands march and bystanders cheer.

This day has different meanings to different people, and is even debatable to some. But regardless, of varying opinions Independence Day is marked as a time of celebration. America has celebrated this day since July 4, 1776. The day not only commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies were independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain, but also expresses Americans loyalty to a tradition of honor of their country.

Email newsletter signup

Ronald Regan described his view on Independence Day in The Federalist, on July 4, 2004, as a day to remember: &8220;56 men, a little band so unique we have never seen their like since, had pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Some gave their lives in the war that followed, most gave their fortunes, and all preserved their sacred honor&8230; But they sired a nation that grew from sea to shining sea. Five million farms, quiet villages, cities that never sleep, three million square miles of forest, field, mountain and desert, 227 million people with a pedigree that includes the bloodlines of all the world. In recent years, however, I’ve come to think of that day as more than just the birthday of a nation.

On this Independence Day, take a moment to think about what Independence Day means to you and remember the efforts made by past leaders to make America the land of the free.