On July 4, 1776, a great declaration was passed, a unanimous declaration by the thirteen united states of America. It was a rejection of tyranny. The Declaration stated:
- “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”
Therefore the Congress of the United States declared on July 4, 1776:
- “That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
This declaration changed the course of the world. It marked the beginning of the end of Europe’s evil in the continent of the Americas. It marked the rise of a great people who, under a great leader named Washington, fought hard to win their freedom and whose descendants, under a great leader named Lincoln, fought a more terrible war to keep them united. The American people understand that tyranny is always around the corner and that they have to remain vigilant to check it & determined to fight a war to vanquish it. This is why the first “Power” claimed in the Declaration of Independence is to “levy War”.
Fast forward to 1945 when America was about to be become the greatest power on earth. The man who masterminded America’s entry into World War II, the man who presided over that great victory, was a man who had not forgotten America’s freedom from British tyranny. President Roosevelt was a “thoroughgoing anti-imperialist” who, in his letter to Churchill, likened “Indian predicament to that of the thirteen American colonies facing the War of Independence”. Rudra Chaudhuri writes in his Forged in Crisis book”
- “As Harold MacMillan, who was a junior minister for the colonies in the early 1940s put it, the very notion of empire was a ‘bugbear’ to Roosevelt. Its ‘liquidation‘ remained one of his aims. The idea, for this, New Dealer, was to bolster nationalism.”
The legacy of America, the legacy of Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt, is a legacy of fighting for freedom against tyranny.
This Fourth of July is doubly blessed. Because it is also the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner. Like America’s Independence, the American Flag was born in a war to protect freedom from a powerful enemy seeking to win back its American colony. After the defeat of Napolean in 1814, the British used a more aggressive strategy to attack the United States. A key battle in this war was the Battle of Baltimore,
- “a combined sea/land battle fought between British and American forces in the War of 1812. American forces repulsed sea and land invasions off the busy port city of Baltimore, Maryland, and killed the commander of the invading British forces.”
The resilience of Baltimore inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” which later became the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States of America.
This 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled banner is being celebrated today in New York with a stunning fireworks show at the famous Brooklyn Bridge that spans New York’s East River. We might also get to see a wonderful flag-hoisting ceremony as fellow Americans look on with pride. The Star-Spangled Banner will wave with honor throughout the evening, and the use of in ground flagpole lighting could come to the rescue in keeping the glorious flag lit up as darkness falls. Symbolizing years of struggle for freedom, the valor and hardiness of our ancestors, and reminding us to don the coats of vigilance and justice wherever we go, reminding us to be True Americans! As Amy Kule, executive producer of this year’s fireworks, told CNBC’s Kelly Evans yesterday,
- the bridge will come to life as the centerpiece of key moments throughout the show, but its going to be magnificent, 40,000 bursts, 50,000 special effects just for the bridge alone.
Peace is never achieved, never maintained without war. Societies that forget that end up losing not just their peace but their liberty and freedom. They tend to be societies that merely celebrate today’s freedom without remembering the past. That is why we celebrate today’s 4th of July by remembering what happened in 2001 via the two images of the Star-Spangled banner below:
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