The Fourth of July, July Fourth or Independence Day. Despite what some choose to call it, the holiday is recognized as a day of barbecues, beers, fireworks, flags and fun, but in between taking bites of that burger, take a second to reflect on what this American summer holiday is all about.
America wasn’t always the powerful country it currently boasts to be. Once just a group of 13 colonies lining the east coast of newly discovered land, America was nothing more than a project of the Royal British Empire. After years of dissatisfaction with the political policies of the British government and the imposition of taxes without proper representation in British Parliament, the American Revolution, an 18-year-war aimed at political overthrow, commenced.
Though the war did not formally end until 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the Second Continental Congress deemed the colonies “free and independent states” on July 4, 1776 in The Declaration of Independence. This famed document was drafted and signed by some of the most recognizable names in American history including John Adams, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin.
“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,” reads the Declaration of Independence, which still rings true to this day.
Today, this momentous day is commemorated across the country through varying celebrations and acts of patriotism. On Long Island specifically, people can enjoy a fair share of activity options. Whether it be the annual fireworks show at Point Lookout, a parade down Main Street in Port Jefferson, or a backyard barbecue with the family, there is certainly no shortage of plans for this holiday.