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Happy Birthday America

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Spencer Magnet Editorial

Spencer Countians are joining other Americans this week to celebrate America’s 242nd Birthday.
Born out of a fierce determination and longing to be a free, self-governing people, our forefathers and their families pledged their lives and fortunes 242 years ago by signing a letter declaring our independence from Great Britain. They did so by citing our dependence on the blessings of God and it took the blood and sacrifice of Americans from all 13 colonies to secure our liberty.
Today, America stands as a beacon for human freedom and liberty.
We’re not flawless. We’re made up of individuals who are often wrong, who make mistakes, who can be misguided, greedy and selfish. We have self-inflicted scars born from years of slavery, broken promises to the American Indian, and allowing fear to override our natural instincts to be good and compassionate. Other wounds continue to bleed.
America is not unlike a middle-aged man who is rough around the edges, who is sometimes haunted by his past, and who continues to struggle with things in his life that should not be there. Yet, he smiles when his birthday rolls around, thankful that God has granted him another opportunity to do things right, and with the knowledge that he has been blessed with the resources, talent and freedom to finally get it right.
Will this next year yield perfection? No. But we can only pray that it will see improvement. In many ways, our nation is getting stronger. May we also grow bolder in our attempt to rediscover the purpose our Founders had when they met in that sweltering meeting hall in Philadelphia to chart our history.
The decision to declare independence was made on July 2. The actual document was signed on July 4 of 1776. Signer and future President John Adams knew the event would long be remembered and celebrated, and in a letter to his wife Abigail, he proclaimed:
“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.”