born on the 4th of july
the idea of an ideal union was born today 233 years ago. the men and women responsible for this idea were regular people: farmers, shop owners, printers, intellectuals. they decided to forgo the safety and familiarity of a sprawling empire, the likes of which the world hadn't seen since the Romans, in favor of a fledgling country withering under the taxation and authority of said great empire. on that day 56 men risked everything they owned and their lives by signing the Declaration of Independence, thus committing treason against the British Empire and the king of England. how excited and apprehensive those men must have been! sitting in congress in Philadelphia, sweat dripping from brow in the sweltering heat of the summer, birthing a nation that no one thought would live past December.
while the Continental Congress was in Philadelphia debating over the declaration, General George Washington has fortified a position on the Hudson Bay called Brooklyn Heights and was engaging in skirmishes with the Royal Army. every battle ended with a hasty retreat, and the revolution looked to be lost before it had even began. doubt was cast on Washington as to weather he was a capable Commander. that was until the night of December 25, Christmas night, when in a bold move Gen. Washington mobilized his troops and crossed the frozen and treacherous Hudson to sneak attack the German mercenary groups employed by the crown in their sleep. the Germans were known for their ruthless battle tactics and ferocity on the battle field. the Colonial Army, cold, weak and demoralized by constant defeat, fought with a ferocity which they had not shown before that night. surprised, the German mercenaries were laid low in under an hour. this turned the popular perception of the war and the war itself in favor of the Americans.
no matter what our political differences are, our religious beliefs, or our stations in life we all should feel grateful for this day in world history. are we the perfect country that our Founding Fathers envisioned those 233 years ago? no, but we are and always will be a work in progress as long as we exist. it wasn't an easy ride to get here and it wont be an easy ride to continue on. today as we all imbibe our alcohol, eat hot dogs, and blow shit up take time to remember that we were not given these rights, we had to fight and die for them. freedom is not a right of man, but a privilege that is paid for in blood, sweat, and tears.
be prepare to pay up, America, when the time comes.