Independence is defined as “the state or quality of being independent; freedom from the influence, control, or determination of another or others.”
The 4th of July is the day on which we Americans celebrate our great country’s independence from Great Britain. This independence from the unfair rule, taxation and oppression of Great Britain was so important that it became a national holiday that’s celebrated every year. This independence we fought for and won in the America Revolution (1775-1783).
We celebrate our sovereignty, freedom and right to self-govern with picnics, cookouts, parties, parades and fireworks.
America is free, sovereign and independent because of our forefathers beliefs — “We hold these truths to be self-evident — that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We celebrate our nation’s independence because of all things, this is the most precious to us.
Most nations have a national holiday in which they celebrate their independence from the tyrannical rule of another nation or power.
Israel celebrates their freedom from Egyptian slavery beginning on the 15th day of Nisan (March-April) with the Passover feast and lasting for seven days. Purim (Feast of Lots) is a feast Israel celebrates on the 14th day of Adar (February-March) to commemorate their deliverance and survival from wicked Haman’s plot to slaughter all the Jews in 400 B.C.
Juneteenth is celebrated by African Americans to commemorate their freedom from slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln on September 22, 1862, was brought into force on January 1, 1863. But it wasn’t until two and a half years later that the Union General Gordon Granger with General Order number three, set the remaining 250,000 slaves free in Texas on June 19.
Christians celebrate their deliverance from the captivity of sin and the power of Satan through the blood of Jesus every day as individuals, on Easter, and with other Christians on Sunday (Galatians 5:1).
We celebrate our independence because we still believe in the right of the individual to have and express their opinion, and the right to follow their own conscience.
The 4,500 lives lost in battle during the American Revolution and the lives of soldiers lost to protect our freedom since, is the price of America’s independence.
“The greatest of all human benefits, that, at least, without which no other benefit can be truly enjoyed, is independence.” — Parke Godwin
James H. Cagle lives in Ray City, Ga., and is a former Hamilton County resident.