2010-07-04 13:38:28.000 – Stacey Kawecki, Observer and Meteorologist
our own kind of fireworks
Happy Birthday America! Now, prepare yourself for a history lesson.
A mere 234 years ago Continental Congress approved the wording of, arguably, the most important document in the United State’s history – the Declaration of Independence. The events leading up to the actual severance from British rule are numerous and complex. There was a lot of talk about taxation without representation and the bothersome Intolerable Acts. John Adams was a main protagonist of American Independence and in May of 1776, he wrote the preamble our country’s independence. The preamble stated that King George had effectively created a sovereign nation by hiring foreign mercenaries and rejecting a motion to reconcile. Thomas Jefferson was routinely assigned to writing the first draft of our declaration in the second week of June. Three and a half weeks later, the ideas and ideals of the infant nation were eloquently consolidated and written on parchment to be examined by the Continental Congress. After eliminating nearly a quarter of the original text, the Declaration was approved and sent to the printing press on this day, so many years ago. General George Washington read it to his troops in New York City five days later, with the hope of inspiring troops to enlist in the fight for freedom from tyrannical Britain. After reading it myself, I too am inspired.
“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 Happines… But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future safety.”
More than a year after military combat had begun, America could officially declare its independence. A fun fact: the colonies actually voted for independence on July 2nd, and the 4th was the day the official words passed Congress. So we are, sitting on the highest peak in the northeast, in the Presidential Range, amongst the legendary names of Revolutionary heroes: Washington named after the esteemed general; Adams named after the fierce patriot; and Jefferson, named for the man who put into words the ideology of our brilliant country.
In celebration, we’re having a birthday cake and the patriotic “cook out” on the deck if winds cooperate. We may also stage a revolution of our own – our resident Englishman has been rather tyrannical lately, with special respect to the Candy Tax.
Stacey Kawecki, Observer and Meteorologist