2020 is destined to become an indelible chapter in American history. In just six months, we have suffered a pandemic, encountered economic and financial disruption, and tackled civil justice issues. After all that, we deserve a star-spangled Fourth of July! But before we enjoy the fireworks and watermelon, let’s take a quick trip down history lane.
On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail to tell her how important the events of the previous day had been. He opined that:
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. . . 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.
Yes, that reads July 2. The Second Continental Congress declared the independence of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain on July 2, 1776 by passing Lee’s Resolution.
So what happened on July 4, 1776? That’s the day the Second Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence—a greatly expanded version of the resolution. It was the verbal declaration that took place on July 2 that was thought to be the more memorable occasion at the time, rather than the signing of the document. In fact, members of congress who weren’t present on July 4 were still stopping in to sign the document months later.
In an age that our attention is pulled in a different direction every couple of seconds, it’s important to sometimes look back and observe those who came before us. We feel a profound sense of pride and gratitude when we reflect on the bravery our nation’s founding fathers displayed in securing our freedom.
This 4th of July, we would encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the personal legacy you are currently building. Certainly, you hope it’s one that your family will look back on one day with the same aforementioned sense of pride and gratitude - and we hope for the same. Please let us know of any way we can help!