EDITORIAL | Independence Day Musings

We are getting a bit out in front on writing about Independence Day, but with good reason. Next Thursday, the day our paper is printed and delivered is the 4th of July. With many people away for the weekend, or otherwise engaged, we decided not to publish a printed paper next week. Our reporters will still be reporting, and content will go up online and on our social media platforms daily. We will just not have a printed paper that week.

We want to thank everyone who has renewed the subscriptions. Your support of our community newspaper has been overwhelming, and we are very grateful. Likewise, we are appreciative for all the new subscriptions that come in every week as well as the follows and likes on our social media platforms.

Independency Day, the 4th of July, is next week. Given everything happening around the world, we wanted to take a little time to look into this holiday a bit to understand better its history and meaning. What we found was interesting

Most of us know, from our American History classes, that the 4th of July celebrates the day the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Second Continental Congress actually voted to approve a resolution of independence two days earlier, on July 2nd. It then took those two days to write the reason and messaging explaining to the 13 original colony why they had voted for independence.

Largely written by Thomas Jefferson, there was much debate about the wording of the document and it finally included 27 grievances of the colonies against King George III. Included among them failure for the King to pass or allow Governor’s to pass adequate laws to govern the colonies, not allow trial by jury, imposing taxes without consent, and, in general, treating those living in the colonies as second-class citizens and worse.

It is the second line of the declaration that is perhaps most famous: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is as powerful a statement today as it was when it was written 243 years ago and has been called one of the best-known sentences in the English language.

The meaning of this passage is one that we as a nation, and as a people, are continually trying to achieve. Indeed, it has come to represent a moral standard to which the United States should adhere. In fact, it is the view that President Abraham Lincoln used as the basis of all of his political beliefs.

Today, we may celebrate more the fireworks and bbq’s, but it is important to remember what we are celebrating, and after 243 year that sometimes get a little fuzzy. Fortunately, there is a wonderful community event at Waveny Park to celebrate the holiday on Saturday, July 6th.

There will be live music, food trucks, bouncy houses and, of course, fireworks. It is the type of traditional community event that makes New Canaan such a remarkable place to live.

A few notable facts, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were the only signers of the Declaration of Independence who later served as President of the United States. They also died on the same day: July 4, 1826 – 50 years after they signed the document.

We hope you have a safe, family-filled and fun 4th of July weekend. We also hope you will take a moment to remember its meaning as well as the sacrifice of so many that fought our country’s independence over 200 years ago and those who continue to fight for it today. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is worth fighting for.

Happy Independence Day!

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