Let us peer over the shoulder of Founding Father John Adams, and read part of a letter he wrote to his wife, Abigail.
But on the other Hand, the Delay of this Declaration to this Time, has many great Advantages attending it. -- The Hopes of Reconciliation, which were fondly entertained by Multitudes of honest and well meaning tho weak and mistaken People, have been gradually and at last totally extinguished. -- Time has been given for the whole People, maturely to consider the great Question of Independence and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their Fears, and allure their Hopes, by discussing it in News Papers and Pamphletts, by debating it, in Assemblies, Conventions, Committees of Safety and Inspection, in Town and County Meetings, as well as in private Conversations, so that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. -- This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago.
But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
'Tis true - the declaration was adopted on July 2. John Hancock and a handful of others signed it today and the Facts were presented to a Candid World on this day. It wasn't yet for another month that the rest of the signers affixed their signatures, so as I often remark - any number of days could be our actual Independence Day.
Of course, around this time I year I often ponder some things, and I've been thinking about the presidency recently. Not the current one, mind you, but more in general. Every election cycle there is often much ado made about the military service of the candidates. But as we all know, it's not actually a requirement.
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
That's all that is required - no remarks on education, temperament, experience, or anything else. Some times it works out well; other times, not so much.
But should military experience be required? It's not an automatic improvement. George W. Bush served in the Air National Guard, after all. On the other side of the coin, George Washington had a long and varied military career before assuming the mantle of office.
It's very strange - things you think would make leaders 'better' often do not. Nevertheless, no matter who or what is in charge, we must remain as one throughout whatever unsavory events may be happening.
I am reminded of another pithy saying by Benjamin Franklin, shortly before he signed the Declaration of Independence...
"We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."