As we get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, let us quote from a letter John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers, wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776, one day before the date that would change America, and may we say the world, forever. Almost three centuries later, the writing, beautiful as it is, will inevitably come across as a bit dated, with capitalization excess that have long fallen into disuse and a few archaic words, yet with rhetorical flourishes flowing from an unstoppable pen that magically brings back to life the exhilarating emotions and a transcendent vision that is still very much as fresh as on the eve of the day the Declaration of Independence was inked.
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
“You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — 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. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
(Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776).
Happy Independence Day.