2008-07-03 / Editorial

There's more to the Fourth of July than fireworks and parades


Tomorrow we'll celebrate the Fourth of July. What a great holiday! This year we get to celebrate with a three-day weekend. There will be the annual parade on the North End on Friday. The Rocket-Hogs will stage their first fireworks display at the Mackerel Cove town beach on Saturday evening.

Summer in Jamestown couldn't be better.

July 4th is called Independence Day. It is our nation's birthday. If you will recall your history lessons from school, a group of radical colonists were chaffing at the King of England's rule. Relations between the colonies and Great Britain were strained.

These men established the Second Continental Congress and approved an act on July 4, 1776, which became known as the Declaration of Independence. The document to which they signed their names was eventually read aloud publicly throughout the 13 colonies.

We now refer to these radicals as the fathers of our country. They were committing treason. They said that the 13 colonies were "free and independent states." They wanted "all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain . . . to be totally dissolved."

This, of course, was the pre-curser to the Revolutionary War. If today's news media were covering the rebellion that followed the Declaration of Independence that was approved on July 4, 1776, the armed colonists would probably be referred to as insurgents.

The colonists fought for freedom. They later drafted the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I wonder what they would think about our country if they could see it today?

Wave the flag. Enjoy your picnics and backyard cookouts. Have fun at the parade and the fireworks. But remember those radical men and women who made the Stars and Stripes what it is today.

Above all else, be safe this holiday weekend.

- Jeff McDonough

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