Sunday, July 4, is a new anniversary of the adoption of the American Declaration of Independence. John Adams, who as a member of the Committee of Five helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence, anticipated difficult days for the country.

“I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States,” Adams wrote in a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated July 3, 1776, a day before the signing of the Declaration. “I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means.”

The words and their spelling may be dated but the spirit is not, as if the ink had not dried yet on that paper. It was that unbreakable faith and powerful vision that have made of America a beacon of light and freedom in the world.