Happy Belated Independence Day, Celebrating the History with Sons of Liberty

“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 Happiness.” –from The U.S. Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

There are times and days when things just don’t go your way.  Yesterday was one of those days for me.  I know that these days happen, but it amazes me that they still surprise and disappoint me.  There is an old saying: you cannot control other people or events, but you can control your response and your own emotions.  Even doing that takes years of training, and I have definitely not mastered it.

So what does any of this have to do with the 4th of July?  Under normal circumstances, nothing.  Ordinarily, I would have been focused on having fun at the pool, enjoying the BBQ, hanging-out with my fiancée and our kids, and catching a great fireworks display.  I did all those things (except watch fireworks), yet family arguments and hurt feelings made it impossible for me to enjoy the day.  I sat in front of the TV and channel-surfed after dinner.  Eventually, I landed on the History Channel and Sons of Liberty was just starting.  Wow, did this show put things into perspective!

Sons of Liberty is a three-part series about the events leading up to the American Revolution and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  It is exceptional, and I suggest you watch it.  Normally when I think about this time in history, I think about a bunch of old guys in wigs fighting with each other about the shape of our country.  Although the series takes some dramatic license, it is mostly factually correct, and it really brings that time in history to life.  The actors who play Samuel Adams, Thomas Gage, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin are particularly incredible.

Independence Day

Reflecting upon my Independence Day, this show reminds me of all the sacrifices that so many Americans have made for our freedom.  I take so many things for granted every day.  For me, it is analogous to focusing on Santa Claus and Christmas trees at Christmas; or chicks and the Easter Bunny on Easter Sunday; or fireworks on the 4th of July. I began thinking about the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, WWI, the bombing of Pearl Harbor and WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  There has been so much sacrifice, and so many lives lost.  Many people think all of these wars and loss of life have been in vain, but I hope that is not the case.  I think there is evil in the world.  I believe that although “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” may be God-given rights, there will always be people who will try to take them away.

I am grateful for our founding fathers, their vision, and their sacrifice.  I am grateful that I live in the greatest country in the world, and I feel very blessed that I was born here.  When I think about things from that perspective, all my ‘little problems’ pale in comparison-and I don’t just feel this way because my name is Patrick Henry.

I hope all of you had a wonderful 4th of July, and, more importantly, I hope that each of you are grateful for what we are able to enjoy every day because we live in this country.  Happy belated Independence Day.