After my traditional yearly reading of the Declaration of Independence, whose birthday we observed Monday evening, I moved on to a collection of correspondence between John Adams and his wife Abigail.
Reading of Mr. Adams’ thoughts the very day before he signed his name to the document that represented the final straw in the colonies ongoing dispute with “Mother England” one paragraph in particular leaped out from the page:
“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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
Well, I can’t say there was much in the way of “solemn acts of devotion” but there was plenty of pomp, parade, games and illuminations. We held off on the guns and bonfires though with the burn ban and all. No need to go overboard. Freedom without responsibility is chaos.