I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but raised across the state in Pittsburgh. The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776, took place at the Pennsylvania State House, Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Fifty-six men declared their thirteen colonies independent from British rule. They became the “United States of American.” Nine of those men were Pennsylvania delegates, including one named, Benjamin Franklin.
This was the history I learned growing up in Pennsylvania. The Revolutionary War, the fight for independence was what I cut my teeth on. One of my favorite memories is seeing and touching the Liberty Bell on a trip to Philadelphia. When July 4, Independence Day, rolls around each year, I am reminded of my heritage. I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be a native of Pennsylvania.
When I think of the 4th of July I think of the men and women who sacrificed and fought for freedom. To me, it is so much more than picnics and parades, barbeques and fireworks. To me it is battlefields and graveyards; a freedom obtained through the courage and blood of determined men.
Have we made mistakes as a nation since? Surely, that is without debate. Still, on July 4, I am reminded of the greatness of a people who loved freedom enough to give their very lives for it. I pray there are still those willing to do so.
This freedom that we love so much is born in the heart of God. Christ came that we might experience true freedom. There is a link below to one of the greatest songs ever written and sung about freedom, “Let Freedom Ring,” performed at Carnegie Hall shortly after 9/11. Let it remind us today of what is truly important. [Luke 4:18, Galatians 5:1]