Twentynine Palms -- Although it wasn’t until 1941 that July 4th was declared a federal holiday, Americans have celebrated their independence every year since the adoption of the declaration. 241 years later, Independence Day is a holiday filled with festivities. It provides time to grill out, marvel at the bold and brilliant displays of fireworks, and time spent with friends and family all with the purpose of celebrating the nation’s freedom.
But, while in the throes of elation it is important to not only rejoice in our freedom but remember what it took to get here.
“This is the land of the free because of the brave and I like to envision that’s because of our military,” said Cpl. David Torres, combat camera, unit. “In the 1700’s when we took our independence, they really had no idea what was going to happen. Independence Day is a time to reflect on all the contributions everyone’s made to this country. It’s a god day to reflect on the countless men and women who gave their lives for the freedoms and the liberties we all enjoy.”
The principles outlined in the declaration; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, still ring true and are the guidelines by which the Constitution was formed. In 1787, just four short years after the victory of the American Revolution, delegates representing almost every state met at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania State House for the Constitutional Convention. It was there, in the same building that saw the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, that the Constitution was signed. Due to the actions of our founding fathers a nation was formed, but the actions of its citizens have made the country what it is today.
“Americans are like their own type of breed,” said Cpl. Alexander Rood, food service specialist, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. “We all come from different places but those who feel patriotic and love their country so much, won’t ever back down.”
Since before its inception, the nation has been a country of immigrants. Those seeking refuge or just looking for a fresh start, can find it here on America’s shores and though at first they might see it as a foreign nation, America quickly becomes their home.
“I’m a first generation American. My parents were born in Ecuador and moved to this country in the late 80’s,” Torres said. “I’ve always had strong ties to my Ecuadorian background, but I growing up I remember thinking ‘I might be Hispanic but this is my country, I was born here.’ I think it’s only right that you should serve your country for a given amount of time. It’s the least I can do for the place I call home.”
July 4th allows America’s citizens to rejoice not only in their freedom but in the very pillars this nation stands on. Strength through adversity; the courage to break free and the willingness to begin anew against all odds are few of the many attributes that make America what it is, and the very principles that earned the nation it’s freedom.