Today all across the United States, we celebrate Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, commemorating our Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, and the birth of our nation. On this, the nation’s third most popular federal holiday (after Christmas and Thanksgiving, according to a Harris poll), Americans enjoy going to parades, concerts and spectacular fireworks displays, and spending time with family and friends at backyard barbeques.
We proudly display our Charters of Freedom — the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States —in the Rotunda of the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
These documents helped guide the formation of our country and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and have inspired countless people around the world to demand their own inalienable rights.
Speaking of inspiration, Microsoft had a revolutionary idea a couple of years ago to create a behind-the-scenes look at the making of our Declaration of Independence.
This clever video shows how Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman could have collaborated and drafted the Declaration of Independence using Microsoft Office 2010 and the company’s Windows Live Messenger software. The scenario has the Founding Fathers sharing ideas and revisions until they eventually agree on a final draft which they deliver via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check it out here.
Incidentally, a few weeks ago while in New York City, my husband and I took a harbor tour – we love to see the Statue of Liberty up close. Her torch continues to light the entrance to New York harbor as a symbol of freedom to all who come to America.
The Fourth of July and Lady Liberty remind us to cherish the ideals and the fact of our freedom, but we must also remember that our freedom isn’t free. While we enjoy the freedom bought and paid for by the blood of many Americans, let’s all be diligent in doing our part to respect and keep secure the freedoms established over 200 years ago by our Founding Fathers.
Happy Independence Day!