Some call it Independence Day and still others refer to it as the Fourth of July. This annual holiday, celebrated on July 4th, commemorates the breaking away of the United States from Great Britain. It has been federally recognized since 1941, but dates back to 1776 when the United States officially signed the Declaration of Independence.
The Continental Congress voted to establish independence on July 2. On July 4, they approved the Declaration of Independence.
This was a milestone in American history. America was not a tiny colony that had to depend on others. Now it was fully capable of taking care of herself. It did not tolerate the maltreatment it had been receiving from Britain, and was ready to make it on its own.
In the 1700s, Fourth of July was celebrated with gun salutes, speeches, prayers, parades, and fireworks. Two hundreds years have passed, though not much has changed in the way this holiday is celebrated.
Although our nation began its independence in 1776, the Revolution against Great Britain would continue until 1783. There were 25,000 American lives lost during this period, making it one of the most deadly wars in American history.
During the Fourth of July we must take time to remember those soldiers who have courageously and selflessly fought to defend our nation and our freedoms. The soldiers who gave their lives during the American Revolution did not sit idly back as the British taxed us without our consent – they took action and stood up for our rights as people. When it would have been easy to give in, these brave men lead the way to our nation’s sovereignty.
Today, there are thousands of soldiers stationed around the world. They have decided, as well, to stand up and fight for the United States and our freedom. As you celebrate the Fourth of July with your family, enjoying a barbecue and watching fireworks, these brave women and men are on the field defending our country. Please take the time to remember our soldiers.
The Friends of the New York State Military Museum is a volunteer support organization dedicated to assist the Museum in preserving New York’s rich military history. Visit ourmilitary museumfor more details. Admission is free.