May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please,
but as the opportunity to do what is right.
– Peter Marshall
Friends and Phamily,
This weekend, we observe Independence Day.
Many families will take this holiday time to travel, share a meal, enjoy the warm weather, and sit back — together — to watch fireworks light up the night.
Fourth of July is America’s “great anniversary festival,” as John Adams so aptly penned. “It 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 forever more.” Now that is a recommendation I am happy to follow!
As one of the Founding Fathers, John Adams had a unique understanding of the cause for such celebration. Reclaiming essential rights – and the freedom of self-governance and individual liberty – was (and still remains) a sacrificial task.
Thankfully, these individuals didn’t do what was easy; they seized the opportunity to do what was right.
No matter what traditions you observe tomorrow — whether it’s sharing some legendary barbecue, an afternoon by the water, or simply laughing and talking on the front porch — let’s pause to give thanks for the freedom that allows us these simple joys. Let’s celebrate the opportunity that enables us to form and keep such wonderful traditions.
Most importantly, let’s never forget that our “great anniversary festival” isn’t the result of doing what is easy: it’s a product of sacrificially doing what is right.
Happy Independence Day!