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248 years later, are we worthy of the sacrifice?

John Adams said that “liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.”


On this 248th celebration of America’s birthday, it’s important to ask the question: are we living up to the ideals of the founders? Do we have a general knowledge of our own history? Sadly, the answer is increasingly no.


Studies show that many Americans fail to answer even the most basic questions about our history. Who is the Vice President? What year did we declare our independence? What are the three branches of government?




Today we celebrate - even if some have little knowledge of the reason why.


John Adams and Thomas Jefferson - close allies, who became bitter rivals and then friends - admonished citizens to remember the sacrifice of our founding and celebrate a momentous day in the history of the world.


“For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights and an undiminished devotion to them,” Jefferson wrote.


Adams said Independence Day “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward furthermore.”


It is true that our Declaration and the Constitution that followed had flaws. Still, the documents we were given and the country we inherited are the most remarkable in the history of the world.


If you want to truly understand the founding, read David McCullough’s John Adams - which later became an award winning HBO series.



Each of these men knew that, by voting yes, they may have been signing the death warrants for not only them but also their families. They did it anyway.


Are we worthy of their sacrifice?


Adams said “Posterity! You will never know how much the present Generation costs to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it.”


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