Many countries have holidays which celebrate the end of an old regime, and the time when their country was officially created. But I like to think that the American version is a bit different from most of them.
The history taught in schools would have us all think that the Continental Congress was pretty much a bunch of foppish, wig wearing dandies who liked nothing better than to strike dramatic poses and spout off long winded speeches laden with allusions to ancient Greek and Roman culture. This isn’t exactly accurate.
It was on this day 231 years ago that those same dandies told the greatest military power on the planet to go get bent. Any reasonable and accurate assessment of their chances to prevail would have been right down there at zero. Everyone who signed the Declaration of Independence, if they were being honest with themselves, could only expect to end their lives at the end of a noose. Most of their friends would swing with them. Their property and fortunes would certainly have been confiscated, bringing ruin and poverty to their families. But they did it anyway.
Those guys were real men. Balls as big as church bells. Anyone who wants to understand the United States has to start at that basic historical fact.
This day is the quintessential American holiday, and I am going to celebrate it in a way to honor the spirit and memory of the real men who put it all on the line for some impossible dream. I’m going to eat a lot of red meat, I’m going to pal around with my real men buddies, and I’m going to blow some stuff up real good.