This weekend millions of Americans come together to celebrate the birthday of the United States. On July 4th, 1776, the final language of the Declaration of Independence was approved by representatives from the thirteen American Colonies. The document officially severed ties with Great Britain. John Adams envisioned this as a day of “pomp and parade with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations.” More than two centuries later, it still is. Fireworks erupt in the night sky as the nation remembers its independence.
“May it be to the world… the signal of arousing men to burst the chains… and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form, which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening to the rights of man… For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.” – Thomas Jefferson