for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham
I have been pondering, as I do every time this year, the significance of our pending 4th of July celebration. Since I have become involved with the Hut (American Legion Post 142) I see those who have continued our generation’s privilege to celebrate this great day on weekly basis. Last Thursday evening’s meeting focused on that with the display of pictures captured on CD of Dick Pope and Babe Long’s Freedom Flight to DC to see the WWII Memorial and other sights. I also look toward our community and county where we need to be ever diligent to “Let Freedom Ring”. We Americans have resources and free will to maintain our freedoms and honor those who secured our privileges with their blood and treasure. Now let’s take a look back in remembrance of where this began.
As the American Revolution continued the official separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776 when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence from Great Britain. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a committee, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. It was finally approved on July 4.
A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. 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.”
Adams’s prediction was only off by two days. Even from the beginning, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown in the Declaration of Independence, July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress. It is remarkable that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. They had been close friends but then not so much in the political turmoil of the time. They spent their last days corresponding with great affection. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831. He became the third President in a row who died on this memorable day. I would strongly recommend renting the movie “Adams”, an HBO award winning presentation that is captivating even to those not particularly interested in history.
After you celebrate your 4th of July be sure to save up enough energy to continue the fun at Hominy Lake July 6th as the Hominy Chamber hosts an independence celebration. Call 918-261-0956 for more information. I’ll see you there.
Post Commander Jim Frazier reminds us that the State Convention is coming up July 5th-7th in OKC at the Biltmore Hotel. Those interested can check in with him at our meetings or contact me at 918-510-0032.
Our regular meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 1900 hours (7:00 PM), and our Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings have started back up thanks the Post Adjutant Eli Prather. Over biscuits and gravy (or waffles) we will keep up on each other’s mischievous doings. It runs generally from 7 am to 9 am. I know I am going to be there! If you are a veteran come join us. You will have a good time. And if you have a good story it may end up in print.