Lacey Smith

Happy Independence Day

In Current Events, Politics on July 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Today is the day we celebrate our country’s beginning.

Many nations sort of appear, seemingly out of thin air. Much of Europe slowly creeps into existence. In America we have one day we can point to and say “This day we became our own people.”

Ironically, it’s not July 4.

The Continental Congress actually approved the resolution to declare independence on July 2 but the text of the document was finalized on July 4 and so that is when we celebrate.

My family and I have been celebrating for several days now. One of the things I love about Eastern Idaho, and the reason I keep coming home for the 4th, is that we love our nation and it shows.

On Friday, I hung out my banners and taped red, white, blue and flag-stripped stars to my front door.

On Saturday, I spent the day at Hunstman Springs in Driggs, Idaho where I got to hear a great humanitarian, John Hunstman Sr., and a great patriot, Glenn Beck, talk about the good things about our nation. There was an impressive fireworks show that followed. (I highly suggest this event for everyone next year!)

On Sunday, we sang patriotic hymns at church and went to The Celebration of Liberty, a production that included a reenactment of Patrick Henry’s “give me liberty or give me death speech” and a keynote address from a local celebrity, Glenn Rawson.

Today brings a parade, family get-togethers, another fireworks show and, afterwards, fireworks with my family.

I have repeatedly exercised my rights to religion, free speech and peaceably assembly this week. I have cried with joy and the overwhelming sense of gratitude to my God and my forefathers for what they gave me and my children. I have felt elation, respect, humility, awe, reverence and renewed responsibility.

The birth of America is likely the most or second-most important event in all of history following our Savior’s birth and I feel that four days is not nearly adequate to celebrate it.

One of the most poignant moments of this weekend was at last nights was when Glenn Rawson asked would we have signed the Declaration of Independence if we had been there?

The courage that it took to sign that document is beyond anything I think most Americans are asked to face today. Putting your name on the Declaration was committing high treason and they would have  been hung to death if the colonies had lost.

I am thankful beyond any words I know (and I know a lot of words) to George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Jay, Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson along with thousands of other men and their wives and children whose names are all but forgotten and whose faces we never knew.

America was built by relatively ordinary men and women, just like you and me, who exercised extraordinary courage and supported the Declaration of Independence with their lives, their fortunes  and their sacred honors.

America is not something that is, it is something that we do. God gave it to us along with our sacred rights and he expects us to do something about and with it.

I know and I am certain that I would have been just as anxious as John Hancock to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Liberty runs in my blood and beats in my heart, not just at this time of the year but always.

Remember today to thank God for the Patriots who were no better than you and me and gave us everything. Today is a day for that because we are free.

Happy Independence Day and God bless America!

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  1. Loved your post! I found your blog when I was searching for any write-ups of the Celebration of Liberty’s Tribute to the Constitution. I was sure there would be some negative press about Glenn’s comments on abortion…so far I have found none and I am thrilled! I am the mama of the adorable blond girl that sang in the America’s Hope Choir and made the whole audience chuckle.

    • Tracy, thank you. What a neat opportunity for your children to learn so young what Independence Day means and how important it is to us. Glenn was quite amazing and we are so lucky to have him as part of our community. We are very blessed to be Idahoans and Americans!

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