07.04.2010 = Independence Day
My sister wrote a moving commentary about courage yesterday and how courage comes down to the individual. The courage of the people who started this country and the people who still fight to defend her. And the everyday courage of people battling cancer and life’s every day hardships. I remember reading a letter that John Adams wrote to his daughter on July 5th, 1777, describing the very first 4th of July celebration. He described the ships in the harbor and the all the men on deck. The 13 gun solutes and the all the toasts by Congress. Later that night, he walked the streets of Philadelphia alone and reflected on the day. But what seemed to have moved him the most was the candles that were placed in the windows of all the homes. “All these marched into the common, where they went through their firings and maneuvers; but I did not follow them. In the evening, I was walking about the streets for a little fresh air and exercise and was surprised to find the whole city lighting up their candles at the windows. I walked most of the evening and I think it was the most splendid illumination I ever saw; a few surly houses were dark; but the lights were very universal. Considering the lateness of the design and suddenness of execution, I was amazed at the universal joy and alacrity that was discovered and at the brilliancy and splendor of every part of this joyful exhibition.” As we celebrate this weekend with family and friends, may it remind of us that we are all an individual light and bring us the courage to keep lighting the way.
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