Founding Fathers were not perfect, but they believed
Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006
This Tuesday, Americans everywhere will celebrate our nation's 230th birthday on the Fourth of July.
On July 4, 1776, the original 13 colonies of the United States formally ratified the Declaration of Independence. Two days earlier, the Second Continental Congress had passed Lee's Resolution, named for Richard Henry Lee, a statesman from Virginia. The resolution declared the United States free of Great Britain, and formed the core of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.
John Adams, a fiery patriot for the revolution's cause and future President, wrote to his wife Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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 for evermore.”
However, Adams was two days off, as we all know. July 4 became the day now held symbolically by all Americans as the birth of our nation.
Still, the war was not won. Not until 1783 would the Continental Army force the British to concede defeat. Had Great Britain won, patriots like Adams, Jefferson, Lee, Benjamin Franklin, even Gen. George Washington, would have been hung as traitors against the British crown.
This Fourth of July, take a few minutes to remember the founders of our country. Although the passing decades have made them seem more like gods to us, they were not. They were men, far from perfect, but idealists and believers of independence, freedom and Democracy.