A holiday to celebrate and remember

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. David J. Eichhorn
  • AFFTC commander
Sunday, we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress two days after the momentous decision to declare independence from Great Britain was made.
This holiday has been celebrated in myriad fashions since its first observance in 1777.
John Adams wrote to his beloved wife Abigail, "The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival."

While Mr. Adams' prediction was off by two days we have indeed enjoyed an annual celebration inevitably involving summer-themes and outdoor events with friends and family.

As we come together to celebrate our independence, I ask each and every one of you to keep in mind the indomitable spirit and courage of our founding fathers, who made American freedom possible. Our founding fathers set forth the blue print for a nation that remains a beacon of hope for the world. It was their courage and desire for freedom that inspired their declaration of independence, and it is our founders' belief in the universality of freedom that guides our nation to this day. Because of their wisdom and vision, we have for more than two centuries, been the fortunate benefactors of their great fortitude.

This weekend is a time to celebrate and spend time with our families, friends, and loved ones. Be safe and enjoy in the many festivities, fun, and food.

Yet remember and thank all of our patriots, in uniform or without, at home and abroad. Take a moment to reflect on what I believe is the meaning of this distinctly American holiday: remembrance of the courage of our founders; "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."

We are fortunate to live and serve a nation with such a high ideal. God bless and protect America, grant that her shining light never fades.