Letters to the Editor

Celebrate with pride and gratitude to our Founders

After reading The Eagle and other newspapers, I am baffled that so many educated writers are so misinformed as to why we celebrate the 4th of July.

One article in The Eagle said "... it was marking the 243rd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence." Not true. Only two delegates signed it that day: the president of the Second Continental Congress, John Hancock, and the secretary, Charles Thompson.

In fact, the vote for independence was on July 2, 1776, a date that John Adams believed would be "the most memorable epoch in the history of America." He even noted that July 2 would be remembered in the annals of American history and would be marked with fireworks and celebrations. Word traveled slowly, so most people did not even know the Declaration was ratified until it was too late. What they did hear was that on July 4, 1776, Congress approved the final text of the Declaration. It wasn't signed by all delegates until Aug. 2, 1776.

If you want to dig a little deeper you may want to see what happened to those brave signers. It was no idle pledge. Nine died of wounds in the Revolutionary War, five were captured or imprisoned. Wives and children were killed, jailed, mistreated or left penniless. Twelve signers' houses were burned to the ground. Seventeen lost everything they owned. No signer defected -- their honor like their nation, remained intact.

So whether we celebrate on July 2 or July 4, let's do it with pride and gratitude to those who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

May God continue to bless the United States of America!

C.W. JUNEK

Snook